The Brian Alderson Series: Talks about children's literature in the Seven Stories Collection
Talks: Wednesday 9 November, 5pm; Wednesday 14 December, 5.30pm; Wednesday 11 January, 5.30pm; Wednesday 8 February, 5.30pm; Wednesday 7 March, 5.30pm; Wednesday 16 May, 5.30pm
Robinson Library, Newcastle University, Jesmond Road West, Newcastle
Brian Alderson, one of the pioneers of children’s literature studies in Britain, and a prolific writer, reviewer, and translator, will give a series of free lectures on authors and work included within the Seven Stories collection. Brian is a leading bibliographer in the field of children’s literature and a collector in his own right; his knowledge of children’s publishing and book production in Britain is unmatched. He has been a generous supporter of Seven Stories and children’s literature in Newcastle for many years. The series will provide a unique insight into the development of children's literature in Britain.
Topics covered include Edward Ardizzone, the illustrator of Seven Stories’ most recent acquisition The Little Train by Graham Greene. This artwork was purchased with the support of Art Fund, the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund, and the Friends of the National Libraries, and private donations from supporters of Seven Stories.
Also covered will be the work of Ursula Moray Williams, author of Gobbolino the Witch's Cat and other well known children’s stories, and Faith Jaques, whose work - including original, unpublished illustrations for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - became part of Seven Stories’ collection after being rescued from a skip. Faith Jaques (1923-1997) illustrated books by Roald Dahl, Nina Bawden, Ursula Moray Williams, E. Nesbit, Arthur Ransome, Alison Uttley and many others, as well as producing several books in her own right. She also campaigned tirelessly for better recognition of the rights of illustrators, and played a crucial role in getting recognition for illustrators’ rights to a share of Public Lending Right.
Following Faith Jaques’ death in 1996 a firm of house clearers was hired to dispose of the contents of her house. The house clearer packed everything from the house into bin liners and left it outside the house overnight, awaiting the arrival of a skip. However, on reading one of the books he realised that she might be important, so he made contact with Mary Briggs and Elizabeth Hammill, founders of Seven Stories, who recognised the importance of saving Faith’s archive. With a grant from the Friends of the National Libraries and some private donations, Seven Stories was able to save Faith’s archive for the nation.
The free talks by Brian Alderson are:
Wednesday 14 December, 5.30pm: 'Rooted in the 1930s: the illustrator Harold Jones and the editor Kathleen Lines.'
Wednesday 11 January, 5.30pm: Ursula Moray Williams and a lifetime of storytelling
Wednesday 8 February, 5.30pm: '"The born illustrator" - Edward Ardizzone'
Wednesday 7 March, 5.30pm: 'Peter Dickinson and a loftful of paper'
Wednesday 16 May, 5.30pm: 'Out of a clearer's skip - Faith Jaques, illustrator and fighter for "illustrators' rights"'
The talks will take place in Seminar Room 152 on Level One (basement) of the Robinson Library, Newcastle University. Admission is free and open to all. Note that the first talk in the series will start at 5pm; thereafter talks will start at the later time of 5.30pm. The Robinson Library is opposite the Great North Museum, at the other end of Barras Bridge. A member of staff will be posted at the front entrance of the Library to give directions if needed. Maps of the campus and the city here: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/about/visit/maps.htm.