Here you can read a piece I wrote for the project sponsors, the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was great to have a chance to thank all the excellent partners I’ve been lucky to work with in Nuneaton.
Our Map is Released!
Our walking map ‘The Unofficial George Eliot Countryside’ was released in Nuneaton during Heritage Open weekend (Sept 13th-15th 2019). It’s been a joyous thing to work on in collaboration with project artist and designer Paul Smith, writer in residence Anna Lawrence, the George Eliot Fellowship and partners across Nuneaton.
You can download the map as pdf below. The George Eliot Fellowship are distributing papers copies in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for copies in the post. Please do add comments on the blog if you take the walk. We’d love to hear about your experiences of it.
The Unofficial George Eliot Countryside
Since the start of this project in February 2019, Ruth has walked a route around Nuneaton every month. The walk starts from Griff House, up Gipsy Lane, along the canal, across to Bermuda, into the Arbury Hall estate and looping back through industrial estates to Griff – and ending with a large slice of cake at Astley Book Farm after visiting Astley Castle. Taken in the company of the project writer in residence, Anna Lawrence Pietroni, and then the project designer and map-maker, Paul Smith, the result will be a collaborative photo-essay and downloadable map on this site.
Project Partner: The George Eliot Fellowship
The George Eliot Fellowship, a charity based in Eliot’s home town of Nuneaton, is run by tireless volunteers who work to promote Eliot’s work and preserve her legacy. You can find out about all the activities the GEF are undertaking for Eliot’s bicentenary on the charity’s website and Eliot bicentenary planner here. The project team will be working with the GEF to commemorate Eliot’s writing of provincial life through workshops for teachers and a designed a co-produced learning pack on Eliot for Key Stage 3 in the autumn of 2019.
This is the home page for the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded projects ‘Provincialism: Literature and the Cultural Politics of Middleness in Nineteenth-Century Britain‘ and ‘Finding Middlemarch in Coventry, 2021 – 2022‘.
Finding Middlemarch in Coventry, 2021 – 2022
In 2021-2022 we continue Eliot’s legacy as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of her novel ‘Middlemarch’, with public events in the year in which Coventry itself is UK City of Culture. Through our current project we will reimagine Eliot’s radical artistic vision of ‘provincial life’ in the Midlands through creative participation workshops and projects in Coventry including a collaborative online exhibition with Nuneaton Art Gallery and Museum and Coventry Archives, an immersive multi-location theatre experience with Dash Arts, and an experimental short film by Redell Olsen. Head over to our Events page to find out how you can get involved.
Provincialism: Literature and the Cultural Politics of Middleness in Nineteenth-Century
During 2019-2020 the project team explored how nineteenth-century writers defined English provincialism. We walked and mapped the countryside around Nuneaton, in North Warwickshire: a place made famous in the novels of provincial life by George Eliot. We brought new readers and writers to the legacy of George Eliot in her bicentenary year through talks, workshops, courses, and teaching packs. Our associated seminar series ‘Provincialism at Large’ featured literary scholars, political theorists, and art historians, working with graduate students to explore what provincialism and the depiction of provincial life meant to the Victorians in an age of imperialism.