On Blanche

There is a painting of a woman called Blanche Wittmann by Brouillet. It’s called ‘A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière’ (1887) and represents an imaginary scene of a contemporary scientific demonstration, based on real life, depicting the eminent French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) delivering a clinical lecture and demonstration at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. Blanche, the hysteric in question, is a woman alone in a room full of men and she is both subject and object. I am very uncomfortable looking at this painting and draw on this in my novel, Saving Lucia.

Little Women: A Film for Writers

Lucy Cuthew Greta Gerwig’s six-times Academy Award nominated Little Women is, at its heart, a film about, and for, writers. In a post on Emma Watson’s Instagram following the nominations, Gerwig said: “This film of Little Women has been over thirty years in the making, from the very first time Louisa May Alcott and Jo March reached across [...]

My Year of Reading Women

Dani McCarthy When I was very young, each Sunday, I would wake my parents at first light, leaping between them without any grace. I would burrow there for hours, a peaceful silence settling over the house as my Dad read his book and my Mum pottered around the house. Eventually we moved into a flat [...]