Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gaskell

Manchester Literature Festival 2010 brings literary gems to the city

The UK’s most innovative literature festival reveals that Orange Prize-winning author Lionel Shriver will launch its fifth edition on 14 October. The packed programme features celebrated writers such as Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, as well as some specially commissioned new work including the inaugural Manchester Sermon to be delivered by Jeanette Winterson at Manchester Cathedral on 21 October. Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will close the Festival on 25 October.

60 events with outstanding writers spread across 12 days, Manchester Literature Festival 2010 continues to develop its three main strands – READ INDEPENDENT FREEPLAY – as well as featuring new projects linking up with other arts organisations around the city. Since 2006 the Festival has staged a highly innovative series of events around the city in a variety of different locations including Manchester Cathedral, the gothic splendour of Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Art Gallery and Chetham’s School of Music.

History, from the turbulent court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II to the cloisters of a renaissance nunnery, is brought to life at this year’s festival with renowned historical novelists and historians Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir. Best-selling author and creator of the Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell will be making his only UK appearance to talk about his latest novel, The Fort set in the American War of Independence.

In her anniversary year, the work of Elizabeth Gaskell will be explored through a literary coach tour taking in the recently restored Gaskell House, where she penned many of her works as well as visiting The Gaskell Memorial Tower and finishing with afternoon tea in Knutsford, the inspiration for Cranford. BBC TV Producer Sue Birtwistle and scriptwriter Susie Conklin will also launch the Cranford Companion while this year the ever-popular BBC Writersroom features Cranford scriptwriter Heidi Thomas.

Award-winning TV writer and producer Paul Abbott and Patron of Manchester Literature Festival said this week, “I am delighted to be a patron of such a ground-breaking festival that brings writers of international repute to the city. Since the festival began, it has not only nurtured emerging local talent, but has also provided these new writers with a valuable showcase for their work, which is so important in today’s competitive market.”

Other patrons of Manchester Literature Festival confirmed this year are Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, broadcaster and anchor of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Jenni Murray, broadcaster and journalist Miranda Sawyer, and highly-esteemed poet and publisher Michael Schmidt.

Other confirmed festival highlights are:

Carol Ann Duffy & John Sampson

17 October The Whitworth Art Gallery

Carol Ann Duffy together with the multi-talented musician John Sampson present a special family poetry event with music.

Amanda Craig & Michele Roberts

20 October, Waterstone’s

Two of the UK’s foremost women writers will be discussing their latest works. Amanda Craig’s Hearts and Minds is a thrilling and thoroughly contemporary tale about the invisible lives of immigrants.  Michele Roberts short story collection Mud: Stories of Sex and Love, takes the reader to nineteenth century Venice, 1970s England, modern-day France and beyond, exploring women’s desires, memory, grief, love and betrayal.

Caryl Phillips

22 October, MMU

Novelist and Yale University professor Caryl Phillips will talk about his latest novel In the Falling Snow.

Women and Crime Fiction with Val McDermid & Sophie Hannah

22 October, Whitworth Art Gallery

Two of our most popular crime writers discuss gender roles in crime fiction, female protagonists (on either side of the law) and the ongoing debate about women as authors and originators of crime fiction.

Poetry continues to be an important component of the festival with performances from Fleur Adcock, Daljit Nagra, Pascale Petite, CK Williams and Desert Island Poems with Michael Schmidt & John McAuliffe at Chetham’s.

There will also be a healthy spread of literature in translation events, featuring leading writers from China, Spain, Norway, the Czech Republic and Morocco.

The hugely popular Manchester Blog Awards will take place once again in association with partners Manchester Digital Development Agency and Arts Council England.  Details of how to enter will be available on the Manchester Literature Festival website.

Manchester Literature Festival also features a series of events especially for children and families including: Children’s Bookshow with Michael Rosen, a Moomin storytelling event with Tove Jannson’s niece Sophia Jansson, in association with NICE festival, and a puppetry and music show, Strange Stones, exploring the life of Mary Anning, the unsung heroine of 19th century palaeontology.

There are a number of trailblazer events for the Festival this year including Postcards from Manchester as part of The Manchester Weekender at venues across the city, 1 – 3 October 2010.

visit http://www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk


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Industrial Revolutionaries: People who shaped the Modern World

“The eyes of the working classes are now fully opened, they begin to cry: Our St. Petersburg is at Preston!” Karl Marx, 1854

Curators at The Harris in Preston are busy putting together a fantastic exhibition which looks at the people in Preston who helped shape the world we live in today.

Industrial Revolutionaries opens 26 June until 6 November 2010

Employee worker relations, child labour, alcohol and the need for temperance, impending elections with surprise results, penal reform, and economic success for our manufacturing industries; the very issues that concern us in 2010 were preoccupying the people of Preston 150 years ago. People in Preston created a new industrial world and then fought to redress the problems of inequality caused by industrialisation through radical social reform and political activism. Preston is a microcosm for understanding the North West of England’s industrial pioneers and their ideas; ideas that shaped the modern world.

Lock-out and strike cartoon 1853-54 (courtesy Lancashire Record Office)

Teetotal teapot - Preston is the birthplace of teetotalism where Joseph Livesey in 1832 started his Temperance Movement, requiring followers to pledge total abstinence. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Industrial Revolutionaries is a major new temporary exhibition at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. It spans 150 years with the key personalities and the movements they created– its influence, its history and its global impact – revealed through over 70 objects including portraits, major loans and key collection items, some newly conserved and on display for the first time.

Multi-sensory and hands-on, the exhibition puts people’s stories at the forefront.  Visitors will discover the connection between familiar historical figures and lesser-known individuals. They will see how the actions of these people in Preston contributed to the Industrial Revolution:

Sir Richard Arkwright: Preston-born inventor of the water-frame, entrepreneur and developer of the factory system, Arkwright rose to become the richest commoner in the country.

Charles Dickens: author and social commentator, who visited Preston during the lock-out and strile of 1853, no doubt influencing his novel Hard Times.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were also writing about these events and asking will Preston be a test case for proletarian revolution?

Elizabeth Gaskell, author with a social agenda, influenced by events during the lock-out and strike of 1853-54. She fictionalised Preston weaver and orator George Cowell in her novel North and South.

Joseph Livesey: Champion of the poor and temperence campaigner.

Henry Hunt: Preston’s first radical MP and people’s hero.

Father Joseph ‘Daddy’ Dunn: Well respected and affectionately nick-named, he pioneered Preston’s achievement of being the first gas-lit town in Britain.

Rev. John Clay: Prison chaplain and reformer in the fields of crime and public health

Annie Hill: Half-time child mill worker and unusual in the fact that her portrait was painted by artist Patti Mayor

John and Samuel Horrocks: industrial innovators who developed the Yard Works and created Britain’s largest cotton-manufacturing company and factory with world-wide connections and influences.

Horrockses Yard Works mill model made by Horrockses employees in 1913 for the occasion of the Royal Visit to Preston. Harris Museum & Art Gallery

This brilliant and thought-provoking exhibition also animates one of the museum’s social history collection’s most iconic objects – the Horrockses Yard Works model, a large scale model of a cotton mill. Forerunner of the multinationals, Horrockses was by 1913 Britain’s largest cotton manufacturer with a huge global network. Visitors will experience the world behind the scenes at the enormous mill complex through digital interpretation.

Other exhibits include Joseph Wright of Derby’s portrait of Richard Arkwright, a portrait of Henry Hunt MP, a Tee-Total teapot, the newly conserved tram wagon, Preston Prison whipping horse, specially recorded versions of street ballads plus unseen footage of Preston in North West Film Archive by local filmmakers Will Onda and Mitchell & Kenyon.

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