Strandlines update October 2013

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St Mary le Strand

It’s time for some news from Strandlines to our community. First of all, news about Dr Hope Wolf who did so much to create the site, design activities and inspire us all with creativity. Hope is going to a Junior Research Fellowship in Cambridge, starting now. The usual formula is to say we wish her well and we will miss her. Hope was so unusually brilliant to work with I would like a more unusual formula – something along the lines of may her time to write be full of joy, and may she know that what she leaves for Strandlines is truly exceptional. We had a great compliment recently by being one of two sites held up as beacons for how to bring together digital and historical things; Hope did a lion’s share of that. Best we can do is to continue to try to be imaginative still.

And so we are: two lines are building for Strandlines. One will be the development of a nineteenth-century strand by Dr Mary Shannon. Mary’s doctoral thesis was on Wellington Street and its literary culture in Dickens’ time; now she’s going to explore the Strand’s theatre history in the same period, with exciting interactive possibilities if funding comes through. She’s busy planning & will share her progress over the coming months. Dr Sheila Anderson at King’s and Judith Finnamore at Westminster Archives will be giving valuable advice.

The other strand is led by Katie Webb, and comes out of a day the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s is planning for December 6th 2013: a day to celebrate Maureen Duffy, who is 80 this year. You may have seen the new window featuring her on the Strand frontage of KCL (and the new VW building on Kingsway, where the Department of English has moved). It was hardly possible even to outline Maureen’s exceptionally versatile and distinguished literary career in the space of one window, and even a day isn’t long enough to cover her many achievements and their significance for the world of letters. So Katie is going to curate the day for Strandlines, and showcase materials to a larger audience and with a longer shelf life than a day can host. (There are still places for the day: you just need to register. All welcome!)

I am very pleased to welcome Mary and Katie as active contributors to the Strandlines community – especially since for various reasons I’ve been quiet on the blog front for a while. Intellectually I’ve been on the Strand quite a bit, in the form of connections with the eighteenth-century balloons that are the subject of a book I am finishing. Some balloon news to follow, I hope

Meanwhile thank you for visiting, and please feel inspired to add a strand.

Clare Brant
Project Director, Strandlines

Clare Brant

Clare Brant

Clare is co-Director of the Centre for Life-Writing Research, and Professor of Eighteenth-century Literature & Culture in the English Department at King’s College London.

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