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In Conversation: Pre-Raphaelite Sisters: A Legacy

24 January 2020, 19:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters)

  • Talks and Lectures||Friday Lates
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Fanny Eaton By Joanna Wells, 1861 Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

Fanny Eaton By Joanna Wells, 1861 Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

Novelist Elizabeth McNeal (The Doll Factory), writer and blogger Kirsty Stonell Walker (Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang; Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth; The Kissed Mouth) and composer Howard Goodall (The Stunners Opera) talk to biographer Lucinda Hawksley (Lizzie Siddal: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel) about the enduring fascination with women associated with the Pre-Raphaelites.

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Scotland and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.

It was while studying for her first degree that Kirsty Stonell Walker became immersed in the life and loves of the Pre-Raphaelites. The plight of ‘bad girl’ Fanny Cornforth fascinated her so much that she spent a decade researching her life and wrote her biography Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth. Since 2011, she has written a blog, The Kissed Mouth, where she publishes original research on the many models of the Pre-Raphaelites. She has also written two novels about Victorian artists as well as giving talks to art groups and museums.

Howard Goodall CBE is one of Britain’s best-known composers of choral music, stage musicals, TV and film scores. He is also a distinguished music historian and broadcaster. His new work, The Stunners Opera, is a new musical written with Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat) – a tour group of women find themselves locked-down in a London gallery where they encounter the “Stunners”, the models and muses of the Pre-Raphaelite artists. This sparks a cross-century conversation about the unique quality of female strength, courage and perseverance.

Lucinda Hawksley, the great great great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, is the author of biographies of the artists Lizzie Siddal, Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise and Dickens’ daughter Katey.  Her other titles include March, Women, March, a history of the women’s movement,  Bitten By Witch Fever, which tells the story of the manufacture, uses and effects of arsenic in the 19th-century home, and Dickens and Christmas. Lucinda is also the author of two books for the National Portrait Gallery: Charles Dickens and his Circle and Moustaches, Whiskers and Beards.

Part of the programme of events complementing Pre-Raphaelite Sisters.

Priority booking for Gallery Members is open now. Public booking will open on Friday 8 November 2019.

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