Richard Doyle, The Rehearsal

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22 Years in Faerie

There are twenty-two trump cards in the Tarot Pack and there were twenty-two years between the founding of the Golden Dawn in 1888 and the death of King Edward VII in 1910, the ‘Vicwardian’ period, in which to some it seemed possible, for a long and wonderful moment, to bring the infinite possibilities of magic into the everyday world. It was that romantic longing for direct contact with the supernatural which motivated Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers to create a new magical order. In this talk P R Jennings makes light-hearted use of the Tarot  pack to present some of the people - occasionally brilliant, sometimes dangerous and often absurd - associated with Mathers' Society of the Golden Dawn.

When the Fairies Met Victoria

Winged and cute, or dark and menacing, the fairy has been an important part of British culture. In this illustrated talk, P. R. Jennings presents the popular, artistic and literary history of fairies, exploring the ways in which they have adapted to the nature and needs of human society over the centuries. He will also examine competing theories regarding the origin and significance of fairy tradition and belief. The talk will lead up to and focus on the fairy art and literature of the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Yeats and All Souls' Night

William Yeats sits alone with two glasses of wine. One is for absent friends, the dead being thought to visit on the night of All Souls' Day, when prayers are said by the bereaved and their loved ones remembered. Deep in thought, Yeats contemplates the mysteries of life and death. By the magic of his poetic art he invokes W T Horton, Florence Farr and MacGregor Mathers. He remembers these dear friends, no less real now they have passed away and perhaps better understood. The talk brings out the part they and others played in Yeats' life and explores the importance of alternative and unconventional beliefs and ideas in the history of English writing. This talk will be of particular interest to those studying English Literature post-16.

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