Research Collections

“My Usual Self is a Very Unusual Self”: Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey

IMG_0447.PNGShelagh Delaney, born 25 November 1938, brought a new and vibrant voice to the 1950s English stage: female, teenage, working class, and northern. On 27th May 1958 the play A Taste of Honey was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Stratford. Written by the 19-year-old Shelagh Delaney A Taste of Honey would later transfer to the West End and transform into a film which became symbolic of the late 1950s / early1960s ‘kitchen sink drama’. 

25 Nov 2018
Leila Kassir

The Trial of a Trailblazing Woman in Publishing

It is 1877. We are sitting in an open court. On trial is a 29-year old woman. She is charged with having published an ‘obscene libel’ – a re-print of Fruits of Philosophy, a book about contraceptive methods, first published some 40 years earlier. She defends herself in front of an all-male jury.
1 Oct 2018
Mura Ghosh

Charity begins at home: Helen Bosanquet, the pioneer behind the Charity Organisation Society

Helen%20Bosanquet%20RS.jpgHelen Bosanquet neé Dendy (1860-1926) was born in Manchester on 10 February 1860, the fifth child and youngest daughter in a large middle-class family. After being educated at home by a German governess, she went on to study political economy at Newham College, Cambridge, where she gained first-class honors in the moral sciences tripos in 1889.

5 Sep 2018
Mura Ghosh

The revolutionary summer of 1773: London publishes the first African-American poet

In the summer of 1773, 245 years ago, cultural revolution was in the air in London. It had been a year after the landmark Mansfield ruling that would begin to see slavery gradually outlawed in England. At the same time, over in Boston in the US, the American Revolution was gathering pace, with the Boston Tea Party only a few months away. With war bubbling in the background, relations between London and Boston were tense but one young girl would rise above it.    

21 Aug 2018
Rebecca Simpson

Una Marson: Writer, Activist & the first Black woman broadcaster at the BBC

Whilst Una Marson lived primarily in Jamaica she takes her place in a display of London women for the two relatively short, but densely active, periods of her life that she spent in the city: 1932-1936 and 1938-1946. Using images of Una Marson found within the Senate House Library modern collections periodicals, this blog seeks to highlight some moments of her London life.
6 Aug 2018
Leila Kassir