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Theme - The influence and legacy of women

A focus on the lives of women as novelists, artists, wives and heroines since the 18th century.

On 29 June, the Ron Cooke Hub will be playing host to a day of events celebrating the legacy of women in literature.

Beryl Bainbridge: Writer, artist, friend

24 June, 6pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

The celebrated novelist Beryl Bainbridge is less well known for her work as an artist. Life-long friend, the author Psiche Hughes, will talk about her passion for painting and drawing how it was linked with her writing and her life.

Admission: Free, ticketed


North and South: Gaskell vs today

25 June, 7:30pm, Dixon Drama Studio, University of York

Scenes from Elizabeth Gaskell’s "North and South" and contemporary times, read by local actors, will stimulate a discussion a discussion lead by Helen Shay which will look particularly at the issues which may have affected, and continue to affect, women.

Admission: Free, ticketed


3Graces 3sixty exhibition talks

29 June, exhibition throughout the day, talks at 11:45am and 1:45pm, Ron Cooke Hub

Victorian women artists’ works are often omitted from accounts of 19th-century art, leaving an incomplete and damaged picture of artistic developments. This virtual exhibition, and related talks, offers a rare opportunity to engage with Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together, and in relation to, works by their male counterparts.

Admission: Free, ticketed


Seeking perfection: The quest for an ideal woman

29 June, 11am, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Thomas Day was a poet, a philanthropist and a radical activist – he campaigned against slavery and supported independence for America – with one major peculiarity. While still in his teens he fixed his sights on marrying his notion of a perfect woman and when he could not find her in Georgian society he set out to create her. Find out more about his ambition and its outcome in this talk by Wendy Moore.

Admission: Free, ticketed


North and South: the legacy of Elizabeth Gaskell

29 June, 12pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

A debate between Shirly Foster and Heidi Thomas on the legacy of author Elizabeth Gaskell.

Admission: Free, ticketed


Passions and parsonages

29 June, 2pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

For many, the archetypal Georgian rectory beside an ancient church evokes a scene from Jane Austen. For others it conjures up something much darker and elemental, such as the parsonage on the Yorkshire Moors where the Brontë sisters led such confined yet creative lives. Editor of Emma, Bharat Tandon; Charmian Knight of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and Deborah Alun-Jones author of The Wry Romance of the Literary Rectory will discuss how these environments nurtered creativity.

Admission: Free, ticketed


British Library literature online

29 June, 3:30pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

In 2014 the British Library is launching a major new web portal entitled English Online which will provide a rich digital research environment for English literature using primary source material to shed light on the social, political and cultural contexts behind key literary works. Focusing on the 19th century, this digital exhibition will showcase a number of artefacts that will appear on the site, including manuscripts, diaries, etiquette manuals, and juvenilia. The exhibition will be accompanied by a talk given by the British Library.

Admission: Free, ticketed


Fabulous Fictional Females

29 June, 4:30pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Four literary experts - Wendy Moore, Heidi Thomas, Bharat Tandon and John Bowen - will each stand as an advocate for one of four classic novels written by women: Cranford, Emma, Belinda and Jane Eyre. Following their debate, the audience will be asked to vote on which novel they think has the most long-lasting legacy.

Admission: Free, ticketed