Stone-book and word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane returns to A Land

A Land, the unique, unclassifiable book Jacquetta Hawkes was born to write, is celebrated in the latest publication from nature writer Robert Macfarlane: LANDMARKS.

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Landmarks is a word-hoard, a glossary of disappearing dialect words for British nature phenomena, a celebration of the particular and the specific (qualities to which Jacquetta was of course drawn in her own writing).  Macfarlane reflects on his own journey into nature writing and the authors who influenced him.  He describes A Land as the “stone-book” of his twenties and devotes several pages to reflections on its power and strangeness.

Macfarlane always has interesting things to say about A Land, a book he has clearly pondered over many years.  I noticed the way he discusses an interesting paradox in A Land.  Its scale is both very broad – spanning millennia, transcending ideas of nation/country/race, absurd when seen from the perspective of deepest time – and very precise.  It is recognisably a product of its particular time and place: New Elizabethan Britain: the era of the Festival of Britain, renewal after the privations of post-war austerity, the romantic modernism of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.  As Macfarlane notes, Jacquetta shaped the relationship of these disparate elements with aplomb and daring, zooming from her own garden to the Cretaceous and bringing all together with passion, deep knowledge and honesty.

From Aquabob to Zawn, Guardian article by Robert Macfarlane about the word-hoard in Landmarks & some (very positive) reviews of the book: Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Times Higher Education Supplement.

Beautiful, Inspiring, Moving: responses to Woman in Time

“Woman in Time”, our spoken word event based on the diaries and poems of Jacquetta Hawkes, went down ever so well.  Waterstones Bradford cafe was the perfect location, with a view of beautiful books and plenty of delicious cakes and coffee.  We got some lovely feedback – this cloud shows the words our audience used to describe the event.

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Huge thank you to the British Science Association for funding this project and to Waterstones Bradford for being such lovely hosts.  And of course Tori Herridge for having the idea for this event and making it happen.  We are investigating possible venues for a repeat performance in London sometime soon … cake is a must of course.

Jacquetta updates!

Coming along to our fantastic free event exploring Jacquetta’s Mount Carmel experience on 18 March?  All welcome and there is still room!  Register and find out more here.

Yesterday Dr Christine Finn was interviewed on BBC Radio Jersey: she discussed Jacquetta’s Jersey archae0logy and some exciting news about her authorised biography – you can listen to the interview on the iplayer (up till 10 April).  Christine’s piece is about an hour into the broadcast.

The Return of Lazy Susan

The rich visual and creative imagination of Jacquetta Hawkes continues to inspire artists: working with them is one of the delights of managing her Archive.  In 2014, Kate Morrell created the exhibition Pots Before Words for Gallery II at the University of Bradford.  She drew on the ideas and formats to be found in the collection to develop fascinating new artworks, including this sculpture and “portable toolkit”, Lazy Susan.

Lazy Susan

In March 2015, we will be delighted to welcome Kate and Lazy Susan back to Bradford.  Kate is extending and reflecting on the original project by filming female archaeologists and archivists (using Lazy Susan) to discuss and explore artefacts from their profession.  I will be one of the interviewees!

Woman in Time

Woman in Time

Waterstones Bradford, 18 March 2015, 7-8 pm

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Join Tori Herridge and me (Alison Cullingford) for Woman in Time, an exploration of humanity from its earliest days through to the turbulent middle years of the 20th Century.  We use poetry and spoken word performance to tell stories of three women. One of these women died, one went on to great things, and one disappeared.  Their lives intersected on one day 80 years ago …

Part of British Science Week.  Find out more on their website and register via eventbrite here.

Three Women in Time: poetry and science in March 2015

In March 2015, an event in Bradford will explore the stories of humanity from its earliest days through to the turbulent middle years of the 20th Century, using poetry and spoken word performance to tell stories of three women whose paths met on Mount Carmel in 1932. One of these women died, one went on to great things, and one disappeared.   Jacquetta Hawkes was the second of the three … here’s a glimpse of her take on the experience.

HAW18_3_26_44 Jacquetta Hawkes and Dorothy Garrod with donkeys

Jacquetta Hawkes and Dorothy Garrod with donkeys

We’re thrilled to share the news that Special Collections at the University of Bradford and Trowelblazers have been awarded a grant by the British Science Association for this event, Woman in Time.  Watch this space for more details!

“I’m wholly with you on the question of nuclear disarmament”: Storm Jameson biography published

Jacquetta and J.B. Priestley make many appearances in a new biography of their friend, Margaret Storm Jameson. Born in Whitby, Jameson (1891-1986) was an essayist, novelist, and campaigner for peace and social justice.

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Life in the Writings of Storm Jameson, by Elizabeth Maslen, (Northwestern University Press) is based on research in many archives, including ours. Links with the Priestleys, and with our other collections, can be seen throughout the book: for instance Jameson joined J.B. Priestley’s 1941 Committee and championed writers as he did through PEN.  The quotation above comes from a letter to Jacquetta, who persuaded her to join the CND Women’s Committee (Jameson agreed with the cause, but was cautious because she felt she might be of little use and had so many other calls on her time – earning money for her family etc.).

Maslen’s biography will prove an invaluable and impeccably researched resource for a fascinating writer and her literary and campaigning contemporaries.