12.15 – 13.00
Louise Foxcroft introduces her biography:
Gayer-Anderson: The Life and Afterlife of the Irish Pasha
Based on the personal journals of Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson (1881–1945), Egyptologist, poet, surgeon, soldier, psychic, and noted collector, this candid and charming historical biography tells of Gayer-Anderson’s strange and eclectic life in the final days of the British Empire. Drugs, race, class, family, sex, and selfhood are vividly mixed in this tale of two wars, colonial life, medicine, anthropology, and psychic phenomena. The stiff upper-lipped ritual of a very British upbringing vied with his Romantic and consuming love of beauty, vividly embodied in museums across the world.
After Louise’s talk the audience are welcome to visit Gallery 20, The Gayer-Anderson Room, named in recognition of the bequest of part of his Egyptology collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum.
13.15 – 14.00 (display on show until 15.00)
Gillian Beer introduces her book:
Alice in Space: The Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll
In his Alice books Lewis Carroll created fantastic worlds that continue to delight and trouble readers of all ages today. Carroll conceived the books during the 1860s, a moment of intense intellectual upheaval. Alice in Space reveals the contexts within which the Alice books first lived, bringing back the zest to jokes lost over time and poignancy to hidden references. This exploration of Carroll’s work is through the speculative gaze of Alice, for whom no authority is unquestioned and everything can speak. After Gillian’s talk the audience are welcome to see a thematic display of prints and drawings including some depictions of Alice by Ronald Searle, and a letter written by Lewis Carroll containing an idea for a unit of measurement for pleasure.
Tickets on sale mid-February from: www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com