The Carmen Talks: Honouring the Virago founder Carmen Callil

Hermione Lee and Carmen Callil
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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  • From £6 – £12 Concessions available

In their 50th year, Virago marks the first anniversary of the death their founder, Carmen Callil, author and genius publisher, with an inaugural lecture by Dame Hermione Lee.

This event takes place in the British Library.

In this, the first of The Carmen Talks, Hermione Lee will present a vivid portrait of the publisher who wanted to revolutionise the world. She will talk about the women’s writing that Carmen loved and about how the Virago Modern Classics changed the course of English literary history.

Carmen Callil’s most famous series was born from her passion for reading and sheer frustration with the male canon of the day. ‘The Virago Modern Classics list was meant to be ebullient, a library of women’s fiction with Boadicea waving the flag. I saw in my mind rows of green paperbacks with luscious covers on all the bookshelves of the world… I saw a large world, not a small canvas … a great library of women’s fiction.’ 

Thanks to the Virago Modern Classics, hundreds of great women writers, some famous, some forgotten, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Zora Neale Hurston, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Rebecca West, Rosamond Lehmann and Antonia White are now read, studied and loved.

Dame Hermione Lee, a friend and admirer of Carmen Callil, Emeritus Professor of English Literature in the English Faculty at Oxford University, is a renowned biographer and critic. She is currently writing a biography of Anita Brookner, who was Carmen’s close friend, and a perfect example of the writers she championed and published.

Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. 

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Name: The Carmen Talks: Honouring the Virago founder Carmen Callil
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £6 – £12
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

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