Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 19 (1988)
When I wrote the last newsletter we had not then had Gabriel Woolf’s prgramme of readings entitled “The Warwichshire Pen”. It was, as always, immensely successful- in its ccontent, its performance (see the Review, p. 50) and also financially. That we make a profit at all is entirely due to the great generosity of those members who sponsor the two performance each year. Without these good friends we would certainly not be able to play at the University of Warwick Arts Centre and we are so grateful for their help and support. “The Warwichshire Pen” is to be repeated in the county on October 8th. When the National Trust is to present it, with Gabriel Woolf, of course, at Coughton Court, near Alcester, and a N.T. leaflet is enclosed for those members within reach. You will see that Gabriel will be presenting another of his recitals (poetry and songs from World War 1) on October 1st. at Berrington Hall, near Leominster.
Next year's programme has already been commissioned for April 27th. and 28th.. As this will be Gabriel's 20th. visit to Warwickshire on our behalf, we have invited him to choose his own anthology of poetry and prose in a programme to be called 'With Great Pleasure'…..and we know his pleasure will include a substantial helping of George Eliot. In the next newsletter, I shall be asking for sponsorship again, so if you have some money you don't know what to do with………!
Another event which happened after the preparation of the last newsletter was the Seminar of the Alliance of Literary Societies. This, too, was a great success and MS paved the way for the informal Alliance instigated 15 years ago by the George Eliot Fellowship to become a more formal and, we hope, powerful organisation in protecting our literary heritage and being of mutual benefit to the many literary societies who have become members.
The Nuneaton Wreath-laying on June 12th. was well supported and we heard John Burton, Chairmanof the Bedworth Society and a very good friend of the Fellowship, appeal for some restraint in the promotion of tourism. Tourists at any price must be avoided if quality and integrity are to be maintained. John's speech will be published in the 1989 Review.
We had two guests of honour at the Westminster Abbey Wreath-laying on June 18th. Our principal guest was Jennifer Uglow whose excellent George Eliot was published in the Virago Pioneers series last year. Also in the Abbey was Mrs. Mary Haight, whose husband, Dr. Gordon Haight, had unveiled the memorial stone eight years earlier. Mrs. Uglow very generously offered Mrs. Haight the pleasure of actually placing the chaplet of laurel and white carnations onto the stone; Mrs. Haight was clearly touched by this warm gesture. By an amazing coincidence, Mrs. Uglow had chosen to speak on the very passage also chosen as her reading by Margaret Wolfit! Something similar happened last year; there must be something about Westminster Abbey! Mrs. Uglow's Address will also appear in the 1989 Review.