John Ruskin, best-known and most controversial intellectual of the Victorian age, was an art critic, a social activist, an early environmentalist. He was also a painter, writer, and a determined tastemaker in the fields of architecture and design. By championing JMW Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, he ensured that their flame continued to burn long beyond his death in 1900, even as his own reputation faded.
Research for his award-winning book Ruskinland: How John Ruskin Shapes Our World took Financial Times columnist Andrew Hill from Herne Hill to the Lake District, from Venice to Florida's Gulf Coast, as he traced the influence of Ruskin and his ideas.
This event is now an in-person event at Carnegie Library! (but if circumstances change and this is not possible, it will be online via Zoom. If the event reverts to online - we will update you accordingly).
VG Lee is the critically-acclaimed author of five novels and two collections of short stories. In 2012, Lee was nominated for a Stonewall Award for writing. Join VG Lee to discuss her second short story collection, Oh You Pretty Thing!
Lee is also one of the judges for the prestigious LGBTQ+ Polari Prize. Event organised by the Friends of Carnegie Library
When I Ran Away follows a woman's journey from 9/11 over fifteen years, leaving her country, husband and children in search of a new life. It covers themes of friendship, grief, humour in dark times, isolation, dislocation, mental health, motherhood, loss of self/redefining self.
Ilona Bannister is a New Yorker married to an Englishman and raising two young sons in South London. A dual qualified US attorney and UK solicitor, Ilona practiced UK immigration law, and her experiences as a lawyer working closely with families in difficult situations, as well as her life as an expat, have made her a keen observer of people and the struggles of outsiders.
Andy Scott reads from his book London's Loveable Villain about his great-uncle Chick "Cocky" Knight aka "the Bear". Described as a real London character, boxer, bouncer, wrestler, lifesaver, villain but undoubtedly with a heart of gold - Chick saved at least 3 people's lives in dramatic circumstances. As a bouncer in Soho he took on four wielding knives and razors. As a professional wrestler he appeared all over the world, fighting all the great heavyweights in a 25 year career from 1932 to 1958, and in 1938 one of the first to appear on television.
Lilian Pizzichini will talk with us about Mariella Novotny’s life, a life of intrigue, spying and crime...
In 1961 Mariella Novotny was engaging in sexual relations with President John F. Kennedy and believed to be a Communist agent. FBI officers called their investigation ‘The Bow-Tie Case’.
Two years later she was involved in the Profumo Affair. Then in the 1970s she began working undercover investigating police corruption in the Flying Squad. Her chief target was the author’s grandfather, Charlie Taylor, a London conman who had high-ranking officers in his deep pockets.
Mariella brought them all down and was found dead in February 1983. Christine Keeler said she was convinced it was murder, most probably by the CIA.
Mariella Novotny was embroiled in some of the top spy and crime stories of the day and in Lilian’s biography she emerges as the early embodiment of radical sexual politics.
Alex Christofi joins us live on zoom - Tuesday 13 April, 7pm
A novelistic life that immerses the reader in a grand vista of Dostoevsky’s Russia: from the Siberian prison camp to the gambling halls of Europe; from the dank prison cells of the Tsar’s fortress to the refined salons of St Petersburg. Alex Christofi relates the stories of the three women whose lives were so deeply intertwined with Dostoevsky’s: the consumptive widow Maria; the impetuous Polina who had visions of assassinating the Tsar; and the faithful stenographer Anna, who did so much to secure his literary legacy.
The memoir Dostoevsky might himself have written had life – and literary stardom – not intervened. Alex Christofi gives us a new portrait of the artist as never before seen: a shy but devoted lover, a friend of the people capable of great empathy, a loyal brother and friend, and a writer able to penetrate to the very depths of the human soul.
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