The Attic Chest was a literary circle hosted by William Porden and his daughter Eleanor Anne at their home in Berners Street, London. From 1808 to 1818 the circle met twice monthly during the winter season.
Anonymous contributions from members were stored in the Grecian cedarwood chest from which the circle derived its name. The Pordens selected those to be read at each meeting and wrote editorial comments. Eleanor Anne chaired the meetings and read out the contributions.
At the end of each season contributors were invited to acknowledge their works.
Most of the Attic Chest contributions have been preserved and are currently held by the Derbyshire Record Office (DRO) in Matlock, UK, where they form part of the Gell Collection.
Anna Jane Vardill was a close friend of Eleanor Anne Porden and an enthusiastic contributor to the Attic Chest. With the cooperation of the DRO the Vardill Society has undertaken the task of transcribing the Attic Chest collection and making it available in digital form.