Posted: 24 April 2014
This lecture has been established to honour Ruskin’s commitment to ensuring that all young people should have the opportunity to gain a formal education. He was a champion of education for girls, and became an enthusiastic supporter of Whitelands College, founded in 1841 to provide training for women teachers. Ruskin was instrumental in introducing, in 1881, the May Queen Festival that is still a part of the Whitelands calendar today.
It was Ruskin’s wish that each year the female students should elect ‘the likeablest and the loveablest' of their number to be their May Queen. Until1986 a May Queen was elected, now a May Queen or a May King can be chosen.
Professor Birch is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She contributes to arts programmes on radio and television, writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, and in 2012 she served on the Man Booker Prize panel.
Professor Birch has a longstanding interest in the work of John Ruskin, and has published John Ruskin: Selected Writings, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Ruskin and Gender, ed. with Francis O'Gorman (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002); John Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000) and Ruskin’s Myths (1988). She has also edited novels by Anthony Trollope, George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell for OUP’s World’s Classics series.
The Guild of St George is the charity for arts, craft and the rural economy founded by John Ruskin in 1871.
The lecture is free, but booking is required. Please visit Eventbrite to book your place.
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