Exploring Shakespeare’s sonnets at Senate House
Reformation London – A European Divorce
A day in the life, your life: History Day 2016
A secret history – 250 years of queer literature
The free event will explore Shakespeare’s work and feature readings from
a selection of sonnets.
Reformation explores the significance and implications of Henry VIII’s
decision to leave Catholic Europe, through a comprehensive and
The one day event will include historical debate, panel discussions and
an open history fair, offering individual research advice
Dr Richard Espley, head of modern collections at Senate House Library ,
explores highlights from its collection of queer literature and
introduces ‘Queer between the Covers’, the University of London’s latest
exhibition and events series at the library.
Senate House Library
【cabet266亚洲城】Exploring Shakespeare's sonnets at Senate House。Register to visit the Reformation exhibition
It’s not just his story, but her story too. It’s our story in fact, and
the annual History Day created by Senate House Library , the Institute
of Historical Research and the Committee of London Research Libraries in
History has come around again to extend the pleasure and relevance of
historical research to all of us.
The Queer between the Covers season examines the ways in which
literature has been consistently used to shape and manipulate public
understandings of LGBTQ+ identities, and it was inspired by a manuscript
by WH Auden in Senate House Library’s collections which fittingly defies
attempts to categorise it.
London, 14.6.2016 – Senate House Library will be hosting an intimate and
unique evening of study and performance as Professor Sir Brian Vickers
leads an exploration of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Sir Brian will be joined
by famous actors Edward Fox, Joanna David and Dominic West who will be
reading from a selection of sonnets throughout the evening.
On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of All
Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany, triggering widespread theological
revolution. The subsequent crisis facing the Pope in Rome provided King
Henry VIII of England with a politically expedient solution to an affair
of the heart – his desire to divorce Queen Katherine of Aragon and marry
Anne Boleyn. Henry declared himself head of the Church of England,
dissolving the monasteries and divorcing his country from Rome,
shattering the power of the Catholic Church in Britain at a stroke.
Are you thinking of doing some historical research, perhaps for a
final-year dissertation, postgraduate work, or out of personal interest?
Are you an information professional who want to meet other librarians
and archivists working with historical collections? Do you want to hear
librarians, archivists and leading historians discuss the state of the
The library is proud to own this holograph copy of ‘Funeral Blues’
Edward Fox has had a long and distinguished career on screen and stage.
Famed for his consummate performance as Edward VIII in Thames
Television’s Edward and Mrs Simpson, he won a BAFTA for best supporting
actor in Joseph Losey’s The Go Between and was the “The Jackal” in Day
of the Jackal directed by Fred Zinnemann. He was awarded an OBE in
The Reformation, as it is known 500 years later, was a time of turmoil
and the consequences of taking England outside of the family of Catholic
states were profound, according to a new major exhibition at the
University of London’s Senate House Library. The exhibition:
‘Reformation: Shattered World, New Beginnings’ will run from 26 June
until 15 December 2017. It will be part of world-wide celebrations to
mark such a momentous event and its impact on England’s history, and it
will be accompanied by a range of events.
History Day is a unique event for undergraduate and postgraduate
students, early-career researchers and anyone interested in history.
Join us on 15 November to meet librarians and archivists from across
London (and beyond) to find out what they have to offer you and your
【cabet266亚洲城】Exploring Shakespeare's sonnets at Senate House。Although this is not the kind of poetic manuscript we might usually
imagine in an archive. Rather than a fragment of a poet’s raw thoughts
promising insights into the creative process, it is a clean copy of an
already much revised and reused poem, being sent out in the hope of
publication in a commercial anthology. Accompanied by a letter to the
editor commiserating on the difficulty of her task, it speaks more
clearly of the poem’s afterlife than its birth.
Its comprehensive programme will explore the lives and work inspired by
Martin Luther’s defiant writing, with reading and performances from a
line-up of well-known personalities such as actors Joanna David and
Nickolas Grace, bestselling author Philippa Gregory, and historian and
television presenter, Suzannah Lipscomb (see programme below). In
addition an exclusive musical performance will be provided by star vocal
ensemble, I Fagiolini, who on 13th July will present a unique, specially
selected arrangement exploring the impact of the Reformation on music.
You can participate in a series of historical debates and panel
sessions, including a discussion on public history with Professor
Lawrence Goldman , Dr Alix Green and Dr Suzannah Lipscomb . The day
includes an open history fair showcasing libraries, archives and
organisations, offering individual advice for your research.
Visually, the very form of the manuscript seems a little conflicted, for
while the handwriting and the layout have a strained formality as though
the author were trying to make the whole thing as presentable as
possible, the edge is ragged where the page was torn from a notebook,
and there are two prominent crossings out. The fact that here the work
is titled simply ‘Blues’ already hints at its rather dense publication
history. First appearing with a more satirical tone in The Ascent of F6,
a play Auden co-wrote with Christopher Isherwood, it was then rewritten
in broadly the form represented here and published by Auden as one of a
cycle of cabaret songs, before ultimately becoming separately titled
‘Funeral Blues’ in a later collection.
Joanna David is an acclaimed actress well known for her television and
film work. She has appeared in many popular series including Sense and
Sensibility, War and Peace, The Last of the Mohicans, Inspector Morse
and Midsomer Murders. She is vice president of the Theatrical Guild.
‘Reformation: Shattered World, New Beginnings’, focuses on London during
the 16th and 17th centuries, tracing the impact of the Reformation
through the four themes of: culture, society, communications and new
‘It seems particularly timely to be hosting a discussion on public
history by leading practitioners, given the recent debates on historical
commemoration and the prominence of history in the TV schedules’,
explains Dr Matthew Shaw, the IHR librarian.
The poem forms the centrepiece to the exhibition
Dominic West is an award-winning film, television and theatre actor best
known for his portrayal of detective Jimmy McNulty in the TV series The
Wire. He won the British Academy Television Award for best actor in 2012
for portraying serial killer Fred West in Appropriate Adult.
The significance of the Reformation can be seen in the description of
the exhibition’s ‘New World’ gallery: ‘Henry VIII’s decision to take
England out of Catholic Europe had dramatic repercussions on its place
in the world in terms of trade links, military power, diplomatic
influence and within the emerging ‘New World’. Nowhere was this more
keenly felt than London – the heart of diplomacy and trade.’
Jordan Landes, Senate House Libraries’s research librarian in history
says ‘History Day is special in providing researchers with direct
contact with so many librarians and archivists in one place, opening the
doors to outstanding collections in London and beyond.’
In addition to all of these complications queering our attempts to
describe it, the poem forms the centrepiece to the exhibition because of
a much later moment of prominence which encapsulates the uncertainties
of the relationship between literature and the cultural understanding of
sexuality. Whatever Auden called the poem, for certain generations it is
most likely to be described as the one that is read out, with
considerable emotional impact, by Matthew, as a eulogy for his dead
lover Gareth, in Richard Curtis’s 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral.
It was a seminal moment in cinematic portrayals of love between men.
As part of the event guests will have an after-hours opportunity to view
the University of London’s first major exhibition, Shakespeare
Metamorphosis, which includes installation work, rare texts and
stretches across 3 floors of the iconic Senate House building.
To create its own story about the period from the beginning of the
Reformation until today, the exhibition will present cultural and
literary items, such as a manuscript Book of Hours, that was ousted by
the Reformation, and items that replaced it. Among the contemporary
items to show denominational social rifts at home and abroad, is an
early biography portraying Mary, Queen of Scots as an innocent martyr
who died for her faith.
Panel sessions include:
Sexual healing – the film
Following the readings there will be an opportunity for autographs with
the actors and Sir Brian Vickers.
Martin Luther’s original desire was to encourage academic discussion and
the exhibition will amplify this. It speaks to the cornerstone elements
of the Reformation and allows Senate House Library to showcase its rich
holdings of that tumultuous period in word and print, literature,
translation and music, and demonstrate its tremendous value for research
- Public history, 10.30–11.15am (Professor Lawrence Goldman, Dr Alix
Green and Dr Suzannah Lipscomb)
- Libraries versus archives! 11.30am–12:30pm: Dr Julian
Harrison(British Library); Isobel Hunter (The National Archives);
Victoria Northwood (honorary secretary, British Records
Association); Dr Richard Espley and Lesley Ruthven, Goldsmiths)
- Digital research, 2–2.45pm
- Keep calm and use business archives! 3.15–3.45pm: Dr Roy Edwards
Simon Callow, who played Gareth, later wrote that this was ‘one of the
most important films’ of a kind which sought to ‘integrate gays into the
world at large’ rather than simply making ‘gay films’ – (Sexual healing,
The Guardian, 31 October 2008).
This event has been organised by the Friends of Senate House Library.
Senate House librarian Jackie Marfleet said: “Reformation is our
flagship exhibition for 2017, we hope that you’ll be inspired by the
diversity of material on display and a truly compelling events
programme. We are bringing the story of Britain’s theological divorce
from Europe to life through the lens of London in the 16th century. The
dramatic decisions that King Henry VIII took changed the course of
British culture, communications and society and reordered the map, both
spiritually and geographically. This exhibition is a chance to see how
our collections tell the tale of the shattering of one world and the
beginning of another.”
History Day takes place on 15 November 2016 in Senate House, Malet
Street, London, W1CE 7HU, 10am–4pm.
There is certainly some truth to this contention, although it is notable
that there is other work by Auden which much more clearly expresses an
overtly gay male desire than this comparatively chaste poem. It is more
striking that within the film, Callow’s character had to die in order
for this love to be expressed. While undoubtedly an important cinematic
moment, it seems rather reminiscent of the view of James Baldwin,
another gay writer featured in the exhibition, writing about that great
Victorian protest novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Baldwin suggested of Harriet
Beecher Stowe’s approach to her black characters that ‘she could not
embrace them without purifying them of sin’ and that Tom must
specifically be ‘divested of his sex’ in order to appear sympathetic to
a broad audience – (Baldwin, James, ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’,
Partisan Review 1949 , 578-585; p. 581).
Thursday, 23 June 2016 from 18:30 to 19:30
Similarly, while Matthew and Gareth are clearly in love, there is a
hesitancy and diffidence to the film which only allows an emotional
expression after Gareth’s body, and the possibility of sex, is
eliminated. Unlike heterosexual couples in the film, they are never even
glimpsed in bed. Moreover, that love isn’t portrayed through a direct
declaration, but rather by the formalised reading of a literary work
written by a long-dead gay man. Literature is here being introduced into
the film to express non-heterosexual lives, even somehow to typify them,
but also to reassuringly pitch them as not about sex.
Beveridge Hall – Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
Listed below are the headline major events with more under development
and to be added throughout the season, including free offerings at the
Being Human and Bloomsbury Festivals.
The ambiguities of this moment by no means end with the film’s release,
however. Auden’s poetry became a brief bestseller in the light of this
reading, occasioning a very successful ‘tie-in’ edition of ten of
Auden’s works. This book is in the exhibition, chiefly for the
publisher’s choice of cover image, a close-up of Hugh Grant leaning
against a wall in a recognisably ecclesiastical setting, with a facial
expression which could plausibly be intended as mournful, happy or even
seductive. Despite the popularity of the poem reproduced being entirely
based on a celebration of love between two men, it is being marketed
with an image of the central heterosexual character, which once more all
but averts the reader’s gaze from a gay relationship.
- Book for the Reformation programme
What Auden himself might have thought of any of this is impossible to
tell, but there is an uneasy tension throughout this story which rather
typifies what we have portrayed in the exhibition, the culture’s many
struggles to use literature to define, to celebrate and to condemn queer
Symposium: Reformation London
Dr Richard Espley is head of modern collections at Senate House Library.
The Queer between the Covers season runs from 15 January–16 June.
6 December, 10am, Senate Room, Senate House
This one day symposium presents the latest research on the Reformation
across the four exhibition themes – society, culture, communications and
the new world order
Dates for your diary
- An evening of poetry and music with Carol Ann Duffy – 18 January,
- Polari Literary Salon at Senate House Library – 22 February,
- Saving Gay’s the Word, and being gay in the 80s – 27 February, 6–8pm
- Representing LGBTQ online: an introduction to editing Wikipedia – 14
- Queer publishing: a Senate House Library conference – 16 March,
- Queer Bloomsbury – a walking tour with Queer Tours of London – 3
April, 6.30 – 8.30pm
- ‘Nish the chat and pin back your aunt nells’: queer creative writing
and Polari workshop with Queer Tours of London – 5 April, 6.30 –
- BFI Britain on film: LGBT Britain – 26 April, 7–9pm
- An evening with the Fourth Choir – 19 May, 7.30–9.30pm
- Free film screenings:
- Victim (17 January);
- Killing of Sister George (14 February);
- Sunday, Bloody Sunday ;
- Paris is Burning ;
- Tangerine ;