1885 Gwendolen Mary Darwin born at Newnham Grange in Cambridge, the eldest child of George, son of Charles Darwin, and Maud (nee Du Puy) from Philadelphia.
1886-1891 Early childhood spent largely in the company of the Darwin tribe of cousins who lived in nearby large houses – Wychfield, The Grove and The Orchard. Learns to play the piano and later the flute. Lessons in
Charles Darwin's third book on evolution, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, has often been overlooked. But not only was it a pivotal work in the development of evolutionary theory, psychiatry and psychology, it was also a ground-breaker in the way it was compiled and presented. He defined six emotions as fundamental to human evolution: Happiness, Sadness, Surprise, Fear, Anger and Disgust One of the first books to be illustrated
It was a risk - could we - in the single day we had the room - get all 70 of the Gwen Raverat prints and paintings professionally hung for the momentous exhibition English Heritage had commissioned of her work - an idea that has been in the making for over a year - to show Darwin's granddaughter's work in the very house he lived in and she frequently visited. It meant working around the public visiting the house, but they were most obliging.
With its unique
Gwen and Jacques Raverat's private collection consisted principally of works by artists they knew - and in many cases artists they enjoyed close personal relationships with, at various stages in their lives: Eric Gill, Mark Gertler, Jean Marchand and Elisabeth Vellacot, . Much of the work was acquired direct from the artists, not least Stanley Spencer, who paintings and sketches they bought to ensure he had enough money to live on - this was long before his work was known.
Gwen Raverat and the Bohemian Meme
A talk given at Darwin College, Cambridge, by William Pryor on June 7th, 2009
On April 2nd 1911, the night of the census, ten people were recorded as living in this, the house that George Howard Darwin had bought from the coal and grain merchant Patrick Beales and named Newnham Grange. Charles Darwin’s 5th child, George, was 65 on that night and had been married to his 49 yr old American wife, Martha Haskins du Puy, known as
Archive for April, 2014
A presentation given at the
Cambridge Literary Festival
on April 6th, 2014
in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Whewells Court, Trinity College
by William Pryor with the actress Anne Harvey
William: In the preface to her masterpiece of a childhood memoir, Period Piece, my grandmother, Gwen Raverat makes it clear that:
Anne: This is a circular book. It does not begin at the beginning and go on to the end; it is all going on at the same
Creative Myths of Cambridge
A talk delivered to the Rupert Brooke Society, August 19th, 2012
© William Pryor
In a letter to my grandfather not long before his death in 1925 from multiple sclerosis, Virginia Woolf wrote: Is your art as chaotic as ours? I feel that for us writers the only chance now is to go out into the desert & peer about, like devoted scapegoats, for some sign of a path. I expect you got through your discoveries sometime earlier.
But he wasn’t a