Click here for previous lectures

04 December 2019Jane Austen’s Christmas: The Festive Season in the Georgian era
08 January 2020Tantrums and Tiaras – Backstage at The Royal Opera House, London
12 February 2020Cosmonauts and Cotton-Pickers – Soviet Central Asia and the Use of Public Art as Propaganda
11 March 2020Nicholas & Alexandra : Tyrants and Martyrs of Imperial Russia

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

Jane Austen’s Christmas: The Festive Season in the Georgian era Dr Claire Walsh Wednesday 04 December 2019

Before the Victorians reinvented it, the traditional Christmas was a very different affair. Devoid of Father Christmas, Christmas trees and commercialisation, the emphasis was on gentility, tradition and sociability. Jane Austen set many scenes from her novels during the Christmas period exactly because this was a time for social gatherings. We’ll look at the balls, parties, dinners, games, traditions and celebrations that filled the festive season. Novels, letters, paintings and engravings are used to bring the Georgian Christmas to life.

Dr Claire Walsh

MA V&A and RCA; PhD European University Institute, Florence. Having previously worked at the V&A and lectured there and for the University of Warwick, now lectures for the Open University. Has lectured widely in Britain; at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Museum of London amongst others, and to specialist groups including the Art Fund, the Ceramics Society, the Costume Society and the Ancient Monuments Society. She has also lectured in Europe, the USA (including Yale and the Huntington) and Canada and has numerous publications.