Immortalised: Remembering Women's Achievements


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Who gets immortalised, how, and why?

In the UK there are more statues of men called John than there are of women (if you discount those of female royals). Take a look at who gets immortalised, how, and why, as Emily Gee of Historic England leads a discussion with historian Elizabeth Darling, Fourth Plinth Programme Director Kirsten Dunne, and author and campaigner Bee Rowlatt.

They ask why stories of female achievements haven’t been told in bricks, mortar, bronze and marble until recently - be that in the descriptions of listed buildings, recognition of female architects, or real women represented in statues - drawing links to the British Library's own building and archives.

Bee Rowlatt’s award-winning book In Search of Mary was a “biography of the year” (Independent). She co-wrote the best-selling Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad, and is one of the writers in Virago’s Fifty Shades of Feminism. Bee has chaired at literature and history festivals ranging from Jaipur and Hay, to Chalke Valley and Glastonbury. She began her career in BBC World Service and has written for national and international media. Bee is chair of Mary on the Green, the campaign to memorialise Mary Wollstonecraft. 

Dr Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on inter-war British modernism, social housing and gender; and very often the intersections among them. Her publications include Women and the Making of Built Space in England 1870-1950 (Ashgate, 2007), the scholarly introduction to the reissue of Elizabeth Denby’s Europe Rehoused (Routledge, 2015) and AA Women in Architecture 1917-2017 (AA Publications, 2017). She is currently advising the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography about the inclusion of entries on women architects.

Kirsten Dunne joined the Mayor of London’s Culture & Creative Industries Unit in 2012. She is the senior strategy lead on the Mayor’s Creative Enterprise Zones, Creative and Production space and Public Art and Programme Director of Mayor’s flagship public art commission for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Prior to joining the Culture Team, Kirsten was a Senior Officer Visual Arts at Arts Council England, where she led the development of an Art Market and Artists' Sales strategy for London and oversaw a portfolio of 62 regularly funded visual arts organisations. She is a visiting lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Part of the Immortalised Season in partnership with Historic England

Image: Queen Victoria sculpture, Shankill Graveyard, Belfast by Albert Bridge

Historic England / Immortalised Season horizontal logo


Name: Immortalised: Remembering Women's Achievements
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £10.00
Senior 60+: £8.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Under 18: £7.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546