The Biographer's Tale | The Christopher Durston Memorial Lecture 2022

Portrait of Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, Wikicommons

  • Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA

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A Historical Association and University of Plymouth History Department talk.

“If writing Invisible Agents and Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia taught me anything, it is that there is worth inherent in early modern womens’ biographies, an insight which stands by way of contrast with the many challenges they present.”

Dr Nadine Akkerman believes that one of these is the difficulty in recovering salient information, yet when womens’ records are recovered, they add new perspectives to old lives, present new lives where there were none, and allow new ways to reconsider events often seen as outside of the feminine space, such as wars.

Archives contain metaphorical oubliettes, secret storage spaces that can be accessed, but only by pulling the right lever. Created not as aides-mémoires, but as a method of forgetting. This understanding that women's voices are often hidden within the archives is allowing us to learn, albeit slowly, how best to both discover and recover them.

With this realisation in mind, the lecture will explore the need for a new type of biography – one that takes into account the latest developments in archival studies.  

Nadine is a Reader in Early Modern English Literature at Leiden University, author of the critically acclaimed Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain, and editor of The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia.

Read the latest visitor information including COVID-19 measures

Date: Tuesday 15 March 2022
Time: 19:00–20:30
Venue: Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth
Ticket information: £6 / £4 for Concessions / free for Historical Association members / free to UoP students via SPiA

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