Monday, 19 April 2010

Lisa Appignanesi – Mad, Bad & Sad

Novelist, writer and president of English PEN, Lisa Appignanesi will be visiting Haworth to speak about her book Mad, Bad & Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800. The event will take place on Wednesday 28 April at 2pm, at the West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth and forms part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s contemporary arts programme.

Mad, Bad & Sad explores the ways in which women’s mental disorders and states of mind have been understood since the 1800s, from the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. The book also explores Charlotte Brontë’s use of madness in Jane Eyre, with its famous portrayal of Bertha Mason, the ‘madwoman in the attic’, drawing on Victorian ideas of madness.

The book has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, the Warwick and the MIND prizes and has won the Medical Journalist’s Award.

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Łódź, Poland (as Elżbieta Borenztejn) and grew up in France and Montreal, where she studied at McGill University and worked as Features Editor for The McGill Daily. A novelist, writer and broadcaster, she is former deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, chair of the Freud Museum and president of English PEN. 

Admission will be three pounds on the door and there is no need to book in advance. For further information contact the Parsonage's Arts Officer: jenna.holmes@bronte.org.uk / 01535 640188.

Mad, Bad and Sad Women and the Mind Doctors. By Lisa Appignanesi. 535 pages. $29.95, W. W. Norton & Company; £20.00, Virago Press Ltd.

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