The Cultural History of Ghosts @ The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London [25 March]

The Cultural History of Ghosts


759
25
March
18:30 - 21:30

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The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
11 Mare Street, E8 4RP London, United Kingdom
Susan Owens will talk about her book 'the Ghost a Cultural History, accompanied by complimentary Hendrick's Gin & Tonic. Ghosts are woven into the very fabric of British life. Their enduring popularity in literature, art, folklore and film attests to their continuing power to fascinate, terrify and inspire. Our conceptions of ghosts the fears that they provoke, the forms they take personifies our shared past, reminding us of the layers of history beneath our feet and of old stories and timeless terrors that refuse to be erased. In this broad cultural history, Susan Owens reveals what these spirits and apparitions can tell us about our culture and about ourselves, and explores how ghosts have inhabited a wide range of roles from medieval times to the present day. A dazzling range of artists are featured, including William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Paul Nash and Jeremy Deller, alongside writers such as John Donne, William Shakespeare, Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters. The Ghost: A Cultural History delves into a wealth of literary and artistic sources, including illuminated manuscripts, woodcut engravings, magic-lantern slides, paintings, prints, poems, novels and stories providing a fresh take on a subject that has fascinated us for centuries.

Susan Owens is an art historian and curator. She studied English at Somerville College, Oxford and European art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and gained her PhD from the University of London. Formerly Curator of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, she has written or co-authored books on decadent interiors, natural history illustration, watercolours, drawings and self-portraits. Her latest book is The Ghost: A Cultural History (Tate Publishing). Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art, co-edited with Nicholas Tromans (Yale University Press) will be published in October 2018.

'The Ghost: A Cultural History is a work of profound scholarship and imaginative engagement, beautifully written and elegantly constructed. It s the finest study of its kind I've read.' John Harwood, The Literary Review
'Illuminating and entertaining, with lavish illustrations and eloquent narration. Wendy Moore, The Telegraph
Owens has written the definitive cultural history of an indefinable subject. She has told it elegantly too... ' Christopher Woodward, The World of Interiors
An eloquent and lively account. Lara Feigel, The Observer
A scholarly and entertaining survey of ghosts... rich in quotes and anecdote Laura Freeman, The Mail on Sunday ****
A very interesting book Tracy Chevalier, BBC Radio 4
Hovers in tone and style rather magnificently somewhere between academic monograph and hefty gift, the kind of book that rather implies a television tie-in Ian Sansom, The Spectator
A fascinating read, complete with gorgeous pictures and spooky old tales. Tatler
A lively guide to that most persistent of spooky figures.. This book shows why ghosts have survived amid scientific, political and religious revolutions. Rachel LLoyd, The Economist
Entertaining Pippa Goldschmidt, The Times Literary Supplement
[The Ghost: A Cultural History] both intrigues and informs... erudite, insightful and always entertaining, Susan Owens traces each permutation with consummate skill in a volume as handsome as it is readable. Martin Williams, Country Life
Susan Owens smart, fascinating study... a ghastly array of spooks who spread terror and tension through a huge variety of artistic works Eithne Farry, The Simple Things
[Owens] intelligently and engagingly tells the story of each particular ghost... she demonstrates the skill of interpretation again and again... [t]horough research makes Owens the best of guides through the realms of ghostdom — David Lillington, Art Quarterly
--The Literary Review, review by John Harwood October Issue

a scholarly and entertaining survey of ghosts... rich in quotes and anecdote --Mail on Sunday, review by Laura Freeman, book of the week 8 October A very interesting book --Tracy Chevalier, BBC Radio 4

'The Ghost hovers in tone and style rather magnificently somewhere between academic monograph and hefty gift'-- The Spectator, review by Ian Sansom 26.10.2017 An eloquent and lively account. --The Observer, New Review, review by Lara Feigel Owens has written the definitive cultural history of an indefinable subject. She has told it elegantly too... --Christopher Woodward, The World of Interiors
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