Here’s our copy of the new edition of A Land by Jacquetta Hawkes, just out from Harper Collins, on show in the Reading Room. We’re so excited that this wonderful book is in print again at last and hope it will delight many readers new to Jacquetta’s unique mix of archaeology, geology, history and personal insights into the landscape of Britain.
Interesting blog post about the Festival of Britain by Ben Cowell of the National Trust. He reflects on how modern planning can incorporate sense of picturesque, of the local. Jacquetta is mentioned because of her work on the Festival and because of the powerful sense of place evoked in A Land. The post was prompted by Harriet Atkinson’s new book The Festival of Britain: A Land and its People (IB Taurus) , which I haven’t yet seen – will report further!
An exciting event from the Hepworth Wakefield will highlight Jacquetta’s writing about landscape in a Yorkshire context. On 12 November 2011, take a guided tour of the amazing Brimham Rocks, followed by a talk by Jacquetta’s biographer Dr Christine Finn at the Hepworth itself. The event links with the Hepworth’s current display of the huge and stunning paintings of the Rocks by Clare Woods.
Full details about the day.
I wrote about photographer Fay Godwin recently: her exhibition of photographs at the National Media Museum in Bradford has much in common with the ideas about landscape Jacquetta Hawkes expressed in A Land and in poetry and film. In today’s Guardian, Margaret Drabble writes about Godwin’s life, links with authors, and her concerns about the ways landscape is harmed and restricted. The exhibition is up until 27 March so there is still plenty of time to catch up with it! Entry is free.
Jacquetta Hawkes helped her readers see the world around them in a new way, by sharing her scientific and imaginative identification with the past and nature. Since reading her works and becoming custodian of her amazing archive, I have had several experiences where I realise that Jacquetta has changed the way I think. Here is the most recent. I’ll write about some of the others in future posts.
Amazing grottos, near Lagos on the Algarve
Visiting the Algarve, I noticed the stunning colours of the sandstone cliffs: butter yellow, ochre, sunset red, and how they sagged and slumped like old cakes, and were being eroded into fabulous grottoes. I thought about how these rocks formed, how they looked long ago, how they would change in future, and contrasted them with the limestone cliffs I saw elsewhere on that stunning coastline. I don’t think I would have noticed or thought about these things before reading A Land.
Another in the series of readings and lectures Dr Christine Finn is giving in the UK and elsewhere, to mark Jacquetta’s centenary:
A PLACE TO BE: JACQUETTA HAWKES and the ISLE OF WIGHT.
A public lecture by DR. CHRISTINE FINN.
at: The Seely Hall, Brook
on: Wednesday, 29 September at 7.30 pm
supported by The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society
After their marriage in 1953, Jacquetta Hawkes and J.B. Priestley lived on the Isle of Wight, at Brook Hill. As Christine says, there “they spent a quiet few years, entertaining close friends and family. They also continued their prodigious output of books, essays, talks and scripts”.
Dr Finn particularly welcomes contributions from those who recall Jack and Jacquetta on the Island, or who were inspired to archaeology by Jacquetta’s works, in particular A Land, which mentions the Isle of Wight in its lyrical description of British geology.
“Where memory is deeply stirred: Jacquetta Hawkes and the Jurassic Coast”. A free talk by Dr Christine Finn, biographer of Jacquetta Hawkes, at Lyme Regis Philpot Museum, 7pm 28 September 2010. The Dorset coast was one of Hawkes’s favourite places; in her most famous work, A Land, she celebrated Mary Anning and powerfully evoked the deep past shown in Lyme Regis and Dorset geology.
The event is part of the Lyme Regis ArtsFest.