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Bluestocking Recommends…

Rebecca Gregory and Yasmin Haji-Hassan

Below are some recently released books and articles and some upcoming events, lectures, talks and exhibitions that may be of interest to Blue-Stocking readers. We’d love any suggestions for additional items you think are relevant. Simply email editor@blue-stocking.org.uk with the details.

Publications:

Julie Andrews, ‘Home, A Memoir’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008). Iconic actress Julie Andrews remembers her early childhood in Surrey, her life during the London Blitz and her early career. Acting in The Boyfriend on Broadway at 19, My Fair Lady opposite Rex Harrison and Camelot with Richard Burton, as well as in films Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music; Julie is a fascinating and creative woman with many interesting stories to tell.

Dawn Annandale, ‘From Mother to Madam’ (Vision, 2008). The true story of Annandale, mother of six and founder of an escort agency. This book takes us through the break-up of her marriage, her decision to work as an escort and her eventual decision to provide support and safety for women who had been in a similar situation through her own business. Engaging and honest, this book sheds a little light into the dark corners of the sex trade.

Lisa Appagnanesi, ‘Mad, Bad and Sad: A history of women and the mind doctors from 1800’ (Little Brown Book Group, 2008). From Zelda Fitzgerald, to Marilyn Munroe and Virginia Woolf, Appagnanesi looks at the experiences of women who have suffered mental anguish and depression over the past two hundred years and our own attempts to conceive of and treat the extreme state of mind.

Robin Briggs, ‘The Witches of Lorraine’ (Oxford University Press, 2007). Senior Fellow of All Souls College, Robin Briggs, presents his latest research on the early modern witchcraft phenomenon. Based on an extremely rich archive of sources in the Lorraine region of France; the book illuminates neighbourly relations, popular beliefs and practises and the therapeutic diagnosis of witchcraft; highlighting both men and women as victims of the infamous ‘witch-craze’.

Kara Walker, ‘After the Deluge’ (Rizzoli Publications, 2007). Contemporary artist Walker explores and vivifies the empty space left behind after natural disaster and to examine the historical precedents for images of water and disaster.

N. Paradoxa, international feminist art journal, ‘exploring feminist theory and contemporary women’s art practises’, available online at  http://www.ktpress.co.uk , current issue on ‘violence’ against and by women with themes of victimisation, commemoration and trauma.

Events:

‘Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings’ explores the image and identity of the independent creative woman in 18th-century Britain by examining the impact of the original ‘Bluestocking’ Circle through their portraits, graphic satires and personal artefacts; as well as considering the contributions of other bluestockings in history, at the Porter Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London, 13 March – 15 June 2008, tickets free on door.

‘A journey through the Romantic era to the present day: piano music by women composers’, with pianist Catherine Nardiello, at the Hollywell Music Room, Hollywell Street, Oxford, Saturday 8th March 7.30pm-9.30pm, tickets £10 from the Oxford Playhouse box office. Part of Oxford International Women’s Festival.

‘The Long Road to equality: the unique contribution of women to our built environment’, the screening of two films on women in construction, past and present, at The Long Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, 7.30pm, tickets £2 (unwaged free) on door. Part of Oxford International Women’s Festival.

‘Extraordinary journeys: women collectors of the Pitt Rivers Museum’, Pitt Rivers, South Parks Road, 11.00am, tickets free but to be booked in advance 01865 613001. Part of Oxford International Women’s Festival.

‘Reel women’, examples and discussion of films, animations and documentaries made by women in Oxford, at Oxford Film and Video Makers, 54 Catherine Street, Oxford, 7.00pm, tickets free on door. Part of Oxford International Women’s Festival.

‘Remembering the women’s freedom league: suffragette memories and public history’, coffee, talk and discussion with speaker Mandy Richards on the suffragette movement, at Elvin Room, Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford, 10.30am, tickets free on door. Part of Oxford International Women’s Festival.

Lisa Appagnanesi, talking about her new book ‘Mad, Bad and Sad’ at Blackwells Bookshop, Cambridge, 20 Trinity Street, Tuesday 22nd April, ring 01223 568568 for details.

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