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Talks & Readings
Wednesday 7 March
The Trials of Salomé: The Maud Allan Libel Case

In the early part of 1918, one might have thought that the British government and the British press had more important matters to consider than whether a Tory MP had maligned the character of a Canadian dancer. The outcome of the war remained in doubt - libel was surely unimportant measured against the scale of the war effort.

slomeBut when Noel Pemberton-Billing published an excoriating review of Maud Allan’s performance as Salomé, under the heading ‘The Cult of the Clitoris’, which implied that Allan, then appearing in her Vision of Salomé, was a lesbian associate of German wartime conspirators, she sued Billing for libel. This very minor story became a sensation, implicating the government at the highest levels. In this public talk, Professor Ruth Robbins (Leeds Beckett) retells the story, and traces its implications - some of which continue to have resonance even now.

7.30pm Leeds Library, Commercial Street
Free. Donations welcome

Reserve your seat with ticket from: http://bit.ly/litfestmaudallan
Thursday 8 March

Fifty Years On: have things got better for women?50 years on

Partnership event with Talking Heads at Heart

Over fifty years since the women’s liberation movement was born perhaps it’s the end of the beginning! Have things got better for women?

It’s International Women’s Day, so after a short film, long-standing feminist Al Garthwaite will speak and lead a discussion on women’s position today and in the future.

7.30pm - 9.00pm HEART Centre,
Bennett Road and afterwards in café

Suggested donation £3
Refreshments available from Assembly Bar and Kitchen
Tuesday 13 March
Living with Emily Brontë

Ann Dinsdale with picture of NeroAn illustrated talk by Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Brontë, the author of Wuthering Heights, who spent nearly all her life at the Parsonage. The talk draws on a curator’s experience of working at the Museum, and looks at items in its collection which help illustrate Emily’s life.

Ann is pictured with Nero, a merlin hawk rescued from the moors by Emily and painted by her in October 1841. ‘And like myself lone, wholly lone,’ she wrote in a poem about it. The bird was given away, never to be seen again, while she was at a boarding school in Brussels in 1842.Emily Bronte

7.30pm Leeds Library,
Commercial Street

Free. Donations welcome
Reserve your seat with ticket from: http://bit.ly/litfestbronte
Monday 12 March
Another Dinner with Montalbano

Partnership Event with Salvo’s Salumeria
montalbano and camilleri
During the past four Headingley LitFests, the Salumeria has hosted highly successful dinners with some of the greats of Italian literature - Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. Last year, we moved on to a well-known character from modern times - the Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano, and it was an immediate sell-out! In 2018, by popular demand, we’re doing it again in an updated version, with Gigliola Sulis and Richard Wilcocks. Montalbano is played in television versions by Luca Zingaretti, pictured here with the man who wrote the novels - Andrea Camilleri. While working as a TV and stage director, he published the first of a long series of novels - La forma dell’Acqua (The Shape of Water) featuring the fractious Montalbano, who is part of the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town.

Montalbano’s adventures are wildly popular in Italy, where fans often talk and write about what he loves to eat - he is very demanding. This makes him the ideal focus of an event devoted to food and literature. You can relish the cooking and listen to Gigliola and Richard, who will talk about Sicily and Camilleri’s work, read extracts and draw attention to some of the featured menus.

7.00pm Salvo’s Salumeria, Otley Road
£20 from Salvo’s Book by phone 0113 275 8877 or online
Monday 12 March
From Frankenstein to Heinz Beans
Partnership event with Café Scientifique

How the weather has shaped our world

Two hundred years ago Mary Shelley’s landmark Gothic tale, Frankenstein, was published. However, this horror story might never have been imagined were it not for the spectacular eruption of Tambora in Indonesia, three years earlier in 1815. The vast quantities of ash, thrown high into the atmosphere by this volcano, resulted in ‘the year without a summer’ in 1816 and worldwide harvest failures. And it was during this incredibly gloomy summer that Shelley started to write Frankenstein.

Join science journalist Kate Ravilious for a whistle-stop tour of weather events that haveKate Ravillious shaped the world we see today. From the weather that inspired the skies in Edvard Munch’s The Scream, to the harsh weather that ultimately led to Heinz beans, Kate will be exploring how some weather events have been turning points in history, and pondering what kind of weather might shape our future.

Kate Ravilious is an award-winning independent science journalist who is the granddaughter of WW2 war artist Eric Ravilious, and is based in York. She writes about the latest discoveries in the scientific world and has a particular passion for weather, earth sciences and archaeology. She contributes regularly to the ‘Weatherwatch’ column in The Guardian newspaper, and you can also see her work in a number of magazines, newspapers and websites including New Scientist, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Cosmos, Archaeology and Environmental Research Web.

7.30pm New Headingley Club, St Michael’s Road

£3 Pay on the door

Wednesday 21 March
Surrealism in Britain: Uncanny Landscapes

Partnership event with The Arts Society Leeds
A lecture by Dr Julia Kelly

French surrealism in the 1920s and 1930s looked for instances of the marvellous in the urban environment. Its British equivalent preferred to draw upon the natural world fluorescence in calcitefor motifs and source materials, in paintings, photography, sculptures and found objects. The irrational forces of nature at work in strange rock formations, in the shapes of bones, shells and sea creatures and in plants and tree growth fascinated artists like Eileen Agar, Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth and F. E. McWilliam.

The surrealist concept of change found a focus in the British Landscape: the accidental form encountered while walking in the country, or beachcombing at the coast. This lecture will explore the British Surrealists’ interest in nature made strange and uncanny, as a source both of wonder but also anxiety: extraordinary but troubling.

Dr Julia Kelly was educated at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute in London. She has taught at the Universities of Manchester and Hull and is currently Research Associate at Loughborough University. She has published on surrealism, art and anthropology, modern and contemporary sculpture and the history of museums and galleries.

The lecture starts at 2.00pm but you are asked to arrive a little earlier and be in your seat by 1.50pm.
Sandwiches and tea / coffee £4.00 - £5.00 can be purchased if required - available from 12.30pm.

Places are limited and will be available on a first come first served basis.
To book please email: lectures@theartssocietyleeds.org.uk quoting LitFest ticket.

2.00pm Castle Grove Masonic Hall, Castle Grove Drive, Moor Road, Leeds LS6 4BP
Wednesday 18 April
Reading Shakespeare - Hot off the Press

Partnership event with The Arts Society Leeds

A talk by Professor Emma SmithProfessor Emma Smith

What was it like to read a newly published play by Shakespeare? This talk discusses Shakespeare in print during his lifetime, asking whether Shakespeare was really as popular as we assume, and identifying his role in the development of drama as something to read as well, or even instead of, something to see. It will be illustrated with pages from early editions of the plays, from the earliest, Titus Andronicus in 1594, to the collective editions known as the First Folio and published posthumously in 1623.

Emma Smith was born and educated in Leeds and now teaches Shakespeare and early modern literature at the University of Oxford. Her most recent book is Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book, Oxford University Press 2016
Shakespeare storefront
Places are limited and will be available on a first come first served basis.

The lecture starts at 2.00pm but you are asked to arrive a little earlier and be in your seat by 1.50pm

To book please email
lectures@theartssocietyleeds.org.uk quoting LitFest ticket.

2.00pm Castle Grove Masonic Hall, Castle Grove Drive,
Moor Road, Leeds LS6 4BP
Sunday 18 March
Literary Walk

Partnership event with Leeds Combined Arts

There and back again - or to a happy ending

JRR Tolkein
Join Leeds Combined Arts members and guests at the Statue of Alderman Marsden near Raglan Road on Woodhouse Moor for a linear walk with new material on Tolkien’s life in Leeds and how local landscapes and landmarks may have influenced his creative imagination and his sub-creation of Middle Earth, and The Lord of the Rings.

Also including settings known to Alan Bennett, T.S. Eliot and Lucy Newlyn, with short readings from their works.

The walk will finish in the centre of Headingley.

£1 donations