Having delved into the poisoning exploits of genteel Brighton resident Christiana Edmunds, my series of lectures on Discovering Women in Sussex came to a close, almost a year to the day when they began. The DLWP hosted nine lectures, which I organised thematically, with each lecture featuring women either born in Sussex or drawn to this county, and whom I thought deserved re-discovery. As lectures progressed, I also responded to the interests of some of those who attended, which meant encountering women I hadn’t known much about such as photojournalist Grace Robertson, whose images of women in the 1950s have become classics of their kind.

Taken in all the women we looked at included women artists, writers and musicians; political activists, campaigners and philanthropists; explorers, photographers and poets, not to forget “Bognor’s mermaid”, trailblazing ethical entrepreneur Anita Roddick of Body Shop fame, and the wonderful Alison Jolly, who proved to primatologists and anthropologists that in the world of the lemurs, females rule the roost.

My initial lectures were based very much on the research that I had done for my book Sussex Women (Snake River Press, 2007) but as the DLWP kindly decided to run another two sessions, we travelled a long way from my early research to explore and discover an extraordinary range of Sussex-linked women, several of whom were quite new to the very receptive, enthusiastic and supportive audience that attended the lectures. The whole series has been enormously enjoyable and hopefully has helped to put a far greater number of Sussex women onto the map than were there when we first began the voyage of discovery.

Ann Kramer

21 March 2017

Posted by Laura Sayers on Wednesday 22 March 2017