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‘Adventrous Eve’: before and after Milton

Date: 07/06/2024

Time: 17:30 - 18:30

Location: Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium

The well-known author of Eve Bites Back challenges Milton’s view of ‘our first mother’. Using the work of Aemelia Lanyer, who wrote nearly 60 years before Milton, she explores what makes ‘adventrous Eve’ such an enticing and dangerous subject for women authors.

John Milton’s complicated, controversial portrayal of Eve in his Paradise Lost is not the only way of thinking about our ‘first mother’ – although it has been one of the most powerful and influential over the centuries. In this talk, Anna Beer will share another, radically different, take on Eve, from a woman writing nearly sixty years before Milton, Aemelia Lanyer.

About the speaker:

Anna Beer is the biographer of many major literary figures such as John Milton and William Shakespeare, but she is best-known for her feisty, feminist and accessible accounts of female creatives, including most recently Eve Bites Back: An Alternative History of English Literature. Her most influential book has been Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music (2016), which has generated numerous creative collaborations from film to live performance.

Anna has held various positions at the University of Oxford, including Director of the Creative Writing MSt, and remains a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College.

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