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Everything British

Whether you adored Downton Abbey,  are an ardent enthusiast of British literature or just can't get enough tea and crumpets, we've got something to satisfy every Anglophile.

A Visit with Queen Victoria—a living history presentation

Thursday, February 8, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

In this first person portrayal, Sally Mummy captures the essence of the Queen by using Victoria's own words, performs this living history in proper 19th century clothing resplendent with Royal Orders and accompanied by a guard in full British military attire.


Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley

Thursday, February 15, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

In this 'around Valentine's Day' special, Boston author Charlotte Gordon presents this very lively and engaging presentation on two women who were very much ahead of their times in terms of equal rights for women. Author Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and her daughter author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1797-1851), have each been the subject of numerous biographies by top tier writers, yet no author has ever examined their lives in tandem. Perhaps this is because these two amazing women never knew each other--Wollstonecraft died of infection at the age of 38, a week after giving birth to her daughter. Nevertheless, their lives were closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies eerily similar. It seems impossible to consider one without the other. And, author Charlotte Gordon did in her book published to excellent reviews. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley both became famous writers; both fell in love with brilliant but impossible authors (Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, William Godwin); both were single mothers and had children out of wedlock (a shocking and self-destructive act in their day); both broke out of the rigid conventions of their era and lived in exile; and, both played important roles in the Romantic era during which they lived.


Life Downstairs: British Servant Culture in Fact, Fiction, and Film

Wednesday, February 28, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

While servant narratives have been popular for centuries, there seems to be a resurging interest in these stories in recent decades. Many contemporary British and North American writers, filmmakers, and television executives have turned to master/servant relationships as their subject matter. Films like The Remains of the Day and Gosford Park garnered numerous Oscar nominations and substantial box office profits. PBS created such classics as Upstairs, Downstairs and Manor House, as well as the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey! Even mainstream American television has piloted its own versions of the British servant in shows as wide-ranging as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to reality TV's Supernanny. Join Ann McClellan as she explores the history behind the rise and fall of British servants and why Americans are so fascinated by their stories on page and screen.
A dedicated Anglophile, Ann McClellan has a Ph.D. in English Literature and has more than fifteen years' experience of college-level teaching. As a specialist in 19th and 20th century British Literature, McClellan's work explores the complex relationships between literature and culture, with published research ranging from fictional representations of British women intellectuals to her current project on fan culture and the popularity of Sherlock Holmes. We are grateful to the New Hampshire Humanities for providing the funding for this presentation.