The Foundling Museum, WSG’s kind host for this year’s seminar series, is putting on an exhibition that WSG followers can really get behind. It falls a little bit outside WSG’s time period, but it is about the nineteenth-century idea of the “Fallen Woman” and the real Victorian women who gave up their babies to the Foundling Hospital.
To complete the exhibition, the Foundling is seeking £23,000 from the public. It has an Art Happens fundraising page on the Art Fund website, where interested parties can donate, and learn more about the project. It is already 65% funded at the time of this blog post, which indicates the degree of interest in the project so far.
Following on from Julie Peakman’s new biography of the Georgian courtesan Peg Plunkett, WSG would also like to highlight WSG member (and WSG’s chief Twitterer) Sara Read’s new book Maids, Wives and Widows: Exploring Early Modern Women’s Lives 1540-1740, which came out in May. It is available from Pen & Sword books, and for a limited time is only £15.99 (rrp £19.99). Maids, Wives and Widows explores the everyday lives of early modern women, from menstruation, childbirth, and bodily care, to employment, literature, and food and drink.
Last month long-term WSG member Jane Mears, a former teacher and a PhD student at King’s College London, died after a long and quietly fought battle with cancer. WSG members Angela Escott and Elizabeth Eger attended Jane’s funeral at the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Hayes, Middlesex, on behalf of all members of the group. It was a very moving occasion and Angela and Elizabeth met many of Jane’s friends.
Jane was a regular attendee of WSG seminars in London. She never allowed her illness to get in the way of a good conversation and her curiosity and warmth will be much missed. Jane was studying the family of the radical William Cobbett (1763-1835), especially his wife Anne, about whom not nearly enough is known. She had conducted extensive archive work and it is hoped that her research will be published in some form, especially the article she was working on before her death.