2020 St Hilda’s College Writers' Day at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival
This will be our 11th year as the only College curating its own day of sessions at the Festival and, as ever, we have an outstanding line-up
10am - Anglican Women Novelists: From Charlotte Brontë to P.D. James
With Judith Maltby, Alison Shell and Clemence Schultze, chaired by Vivienne Faull
Maltby and Shell (English, 1984) have edited a new collection of essays, Anglican Women Novelists: From Charlotte Brontë to P D James, that look at how Anglicanism and the Anglican church affected the work of significant women writers. The essays throw light on the development and the diminishment of the Anglican church over the last two centuries and on the changing roles of women in the Church of England and in wider society. Discussions are chaired by Rt Rev Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol (History, 1974)
12pm - Dressed for War: The Story of Audrey Withers, Vogue Editor
Julie Summers – St Hilda’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow 2019/2020
Writer, researcher and historian Julie Summers tells the story of Vogue and its editor Audrey Withers during World War II when the magazine forged a new identity that set it up for the rest of the 20th century.
Summers is author of bestselling books including Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine and Jam Busters, which was made into the ITV series Home Fires.
2pm - Shakespeare and Marlowe: Rivals, Collaborators, or Aliases – an Early Modern Mystery
Val McDermid and Emma Smith
Crime writer and playwright Val McDermid (English, 1972) and Shakespeare expert Professor Emma Smith discuss some of the mysteries around two giants of the English stage—Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.
McDermid’s forthcoming play And Midnight Never Come, commissioned by the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, deals with the notoriously controversial circumstances of the death of Christopher Marlowe. Smith is professor of Shakespeare studies at Hertford College, Oxford, and the author of This Is Shakespeare. She has published and lectured widely and her podcasts on Shakespeare and early modern dramatists are available at Apple Podcasts.
4pm - On Chapel Sands
Laura Cumming Interviewed by Claire Armitstead
Award-winning writer and art critic Laura Cumming English (1979) talks to Claire Armitstead (English, 1977) about her pursuit of the truth about her mother’s mysterious disappearance as a small child. Cumming’s mother, who grew up to be an artist, was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach in 1929 and found five days later in a local village. She remembered nothing of the events and only learned of them 50 years later. ‘On Chapel Sands is much more than a search for truth. It is a moving, many-sided human story of great depth and tenderness, and a revelation of how art enriches life. In short, a masterpiece’ – John Carey
6pm - In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny
Daisy Dunn Interviewed by Nicolette Jones
Classicist Daisy Dunn (Classics, 2005) celebrates the lives of Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder – two outstanding minds of the Roman empire who had lasting influences on the world. Pliny the Younger watched as his uncle and guardian Pliny the Elder sailed towards the erupting Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder never came back but Pliny the Younger went on to become a Roman senator, lawyer, poet, representative of the emperor and chronicler of the Vesuvius disaster. Dunn writes and reviews for national newspapers and is editor of the Greek culture magazine Argo. Here she talks to author and critic Nicolette Jones (English, 1978).