Women in History Lecture Series
  • Lecture Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building

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Join us for our Women in History Series. This public engagement lecture series features four lively guest lectures, drawing on the latest research in history, English, and cultural studies. 

Exploring a range of material from private letters to prisoner of war memoirs, magazines, and scandalous popular novels, these lectures will recreate the voices and experiences of early modern women in an engaging and accessible manner.

All lectures are free to attend but registration is required. Please arrive at 18:00 for 18:30 start.

Wednesday 17 January: The Private Lives of Tudor Women 

Speaker: Professor James Daybell

In this talk Professor James Daybell draws on research spanning over two decades to uncover the private lives of Tudor women. Based on letters, diaries and other personal writings, Professor Daybell sheds important new light on the fascinating roles of women at court, as political players, as well as in the family and home, acting as wives, mothers and daughters. Professor Daybell is author of more than nine books on early modern women, gender and politics and letter-writing, including Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford, 2006).

Thursday 8 March: Captured! Mary Rowlandson’s experiences as a prisoner of war in colonial America

Speaker: Dr Kathryn Gray

Join us on International Women's Day for this evening lecture. 

In 1675, Mary Rowlandson, a resident of colonial New England and a member of the Puritan elite, was taken captive during the conflict most commonly referred to as King Philip’s War (1675-78). She was ransomed 11 weeks later. Her experiences of this time in captivity were published in her own words the following decade in The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682); the narrative was published on both sides of the Atlantic and became a bestseller. In 17th century New England it was unusual for women to write and publish, even more unusual for them to write about war, and quite extraordinary that it’s this personal narrative account, by a woman from colonial North America, that frames the popular understanding of this devastating colonial war. This talk will unravel the significance of Mary's experiences and the literary value of this ground-breaking narrative account.

Wednesday 20 June: Eliza Parsons in the 1790s: Plymouth’s 'horrid' gothic novelist

Speaker: Dr Karen Morton

The works of Plymouth-born Eliza Parsons are now mostly found only in specialist libraries, but, between 1790 and 1807, she was a prolific writer in a number of genres, including the Gothic and novels of contemporary manners. Forced by circumstances to write for a living, she wrote two of the seven 'Horrid' novels recommended by Isabella Thorpe to Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. Come and discover what Jane Austen knew that we've forgotten!

* Please note that attendance at these lectures can be booked online through SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is a third-party data capture tool which is not owned or managed by the University of Plymouth. Information about how your data is treated can be found on SurveyMonkey’s Privacy Policy webpage. If you wish to attend this event but do not wish to use SurveyMonkey to book your place, please contact events@plymouth.ac.uk.

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