This 2 day conference in December 2018 to be held in the English Language & Literature department of the University of Geneva will launch the 2019 George Eliot Bicentenary celebrations.
Organiser: Valérie Fehlbaum
Keynote speakers: Lyndall Gordon and Patricia Duncker.
John K Burton, Chairman of the George Eliot Fellowship will provide an overview for 2019.
|25 Sfrs/day (approx £20) pay on the day.||£25.00|
Lyndall Gordon is the award-winning author of several literary biographies, including the portrait of George Eliot in Outsiders: Five Women Writers who Changed the World and The Imperfect Life of T.S.Eliot. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
Patricia Duncker is the author of Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize in 1996), The Deadly Space Between, James Miranda Barry and Miss Webster and Chérif (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2007). She has written two books of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death (2003, new edition 2015), and a collection of essays on writing and contemporary literature, Writing on the Wall. In 2010 she published The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge (shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2010 and the Green Carnation Prize 2011). Her most recent novel, the critically acclaimed Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance (2015), was also shortlisted for the Green Carnation Award 2015.
She has taught at the Universities of Aberystwyth, East Anglia and Manchester, where she was a Professor of English from 2007-2015. She is now writing an historical novel set in classical antiquity.
John has lived in the area since 1967, when he came to teach English first in Coventry and then in Nuneaton for 30 years. He has had a life-long interest in photography, history and literature, all of which have proved useful since 1981 when he helped to save a threatened building in Bedworth, and in 1987 another threatened building in Nuneaton. He has written nine books on local history and would love to find time to write more. He has been chairman of the George Eliot Fellowship since 2006 and hopes to be around long enough to see the opening of a George Eliot Visitor Centre at Griff.
|George Eliot stayed in Geneva in 1849, on her own for eight months, after her father had died.||
Marian stayed as a boarder for five months in the house of the Swiss painter, Francois D’Albert Durade and his wife Julie in Geneva. They were to become lifelong friends, Durade translating most of George Eliot’s novels into French. Many people see Durade as a model for Philip Wakem in The Mill on the Floss.
Her host was kindly and thoughtful and his wife Julie took great care of Marian, treating her as one of her own children, so much so that Marian ended up called her ‘Maman.’ In February 1850 she sat for a portrait by Durade at his request – the image is used by the GEF and is often used on the front covers of biographies of George Eliot. Painted in colour, with nose and chin minimised, it shows the full face with beautiful blue-grey eyes and a sweet smile. The University of Geneva has used this portrait for its ‘Beginning the Bicentenary’ conference.
Her association with Geneva is treasured by the city and we will visit the library and museum in the afternoons to see the exhibitions they have prepared for the bicentenery.
There will also be an opportunity for us to reflect upon the role Franz Liszt played in Eliot's life. It was to Geneva Liszt had escaped with his lover the Countess Marie D'Agoult.
We will enjoy a literary tour of the old city, reflecting on the role Geneva has played in other great lives - not only George Eliot but also Mary Shelley and George Sand.
|25 Sfrs/day (approx £20) pay on the day.||CHF25.00|