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The lion, the children and the bookcase: Anne Frank and C.S. Lewis

Monday 17 October 2016

Join us for the Inaugural Lecture of Margaret Reynolds, Professor of English

Tuesday 29 November 2016, 6.30pm
Skeel Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Lecture synopsis

C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of the best-selling books of all time. Anne Frank’s diary, often called The Diary of a Young Girl, was first published in Dutch as Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven 12 Juni 1942–1 Augustus 1944 (The Secret Annexe: Diary-Letters 12 June 1942–1 August 1944). The original print run was only 1,500 copies. Since then, the diary has sold millions of copies and been translated into more than 60 languages. In 2009 it was added to the Unesco Memory of the World Register.

Frank’s document is a testimony to historical fact. Lewis’s children’s story is often read as a fantasy combined with Christian allegory. But both books came to light in the aftermath of the 1939-1945 war in Europe and both deal directly with the experience of racial hatred, betrayal, displacement, alienation, loss of identity and the immense damage inflicted on adults and on children. This lecture examines the connections, metaphorical and real, that link Frank’s statement of witness to Lewis’s re-interpretation of the effects of this war both far afield and close to home.

The lecture will be followed by a networking drinks reception.

Meet our Professor

Margaret Reynolds is Professor of English in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London. Her books include a critical edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh - which won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize, Victorian Women Poets (with Angela Leighton), The Sappho Companion and The Sappho History. She is the presenter of ‘Adventures in Poetry’ for BBC radio 4. She is a trustee of the Foundling Museum and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Attendance is free of charge but you must book online in advance:

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