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Lunchtime Lectures

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Bristol Central Library



United Kingdom

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Every Thursday, different speakers on different subjects at Bristol Central Library.

12.30pm - 1.20pm

26th April

Jacqueline Wadsworth, author

Jacqueline Wadsworth will share her journey through family archives to discover exactly what happened to her great-uncle Fred who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, aged just 19. Using family photographs, letters, postcards and newspaper cuttings, we imagine his tense wait in the assembly trenches at dawn... clambering over parapets to face the enemy on No Man’s Land... the wholesale slaughter of men as they advanced... and Fred’s probable fate, as revealed in the diary of his older brother Edwin.

3rd May

Rhiannon Easterbrook, Classicist and Theatre Historian

The goddess Venus has long been associated with love, beauty, and women. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, amid the suffrage movement and changing roles for women, she also became a way to explore female power and ideal femininity. The Edwardian stage, with its glamorous actresses and beautiful costumes and scenery, showed an array of Venuses that reflected these concerns. Join me for an exploration of some of these performances that take us from the refined townhouses of nineteenth-century London to outer space.

10th May

Ali Bacon, author of In the Blink of an Eye

From Lacock to Leith

Most of us know that photography was invented by W.H. Fox-Talbot at Lacock Abbey. Not so many are aware that it travelled from there to Scotland where, thanks to two men, it quickly became an art in its own right. Ali Bacon talks about the events that led to a famous photographic partnership. Audience members are invited to bring along an old photograph they would like to share.

17th May

Jean Burnett, Writer

Jean Burnett will explore the international phenomenon of Austenmania - the armies of readers who identify as 'Janeites' - Rudyard Kipling being the first of them and huge number of spinoff novels, films and TV programmes Austen has inspired. Why has this happened? And what are the gender issues here?

24th May

Jane Duffus, author

Jane Duffus will share how she wrote The Women Who Built Bristol, a bursting compendium of brilliant women who helped to shape Bristol into the vibrant city it is today. From pin makers to police chiefs, from workhouse inmates to lord mayors, this talk will show that Bristol was built by women and particularly seeks to celebrate those women whose names have fallen through the cracks of history.

31st May

James Murphy, Professor of English Language, Linguistics & Writing at UWE

Blaming and avoid blame at public inquiries

Public inquiries are often used to draw a line under historic wrongs. Many expect that they will result in wrongdoers being blamed for their transgressions. In this talk, James Murphy will show how blame is negotiated, avoided and sometimes done at public inquiries. He will explore what blame in the inquiry setting can tell us about this act in our everyday lives.

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Bristol Central Library



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