Library opens book on celebration of Bristol's literary past
A new exhibition has been unveiled exploring the city’s rich literary heritage, from the pirates of Treasure Island to the party animals of Skins, from the Romantic Poets to Angela Carter and today’s bestselling novelists.
Bristol Writing, at the Central Library, features rare books on loan from the British Library’s collections, alongside historic items from the Central Library’s own shelves. They are displayed alongside new artworks created as part of a related youth engagement project.
Held in partnership with the British Library and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the exhibition moves through five themes: A Sense Of Place, Port City, Crime and Punishment, Under the Influence, and The Dark Side.
Visitors can see rare items on loan from the British Library, including a first edition of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the three volumes of the first gothic romance, written by Clifton author Sophia Lee, and a Thomas Rowlandson book about nitrous oxide.
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Councillor Simon Cook, cabinet member for culture, sport and capital projects, said: “It is an illustration of the important part that the library service continues to play in the life of its citizens and of the council’s commitment to this important aspect of our culture.”
Kate Murray, head of libraries, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work in partnership with the British Library and to be able to offer people in Bristol the chance to see rare items and celebrate the city’s writing.”
Complementing the exhibition is a programme of special free events. These include a Scene of the Crime panel discussion with local writers M R Hall, Christopher Wakling and Fergus McNeill; Angela Carter’s Gothic Bristol, exploring the dark portrait of the city in Carter’s Bristol Trilogy, with Dr Zoe Brennan; award-winning writer Melvin Burgess talking about his writing and the controversial Bristol-based novel Junk. You can book your tickets at any Bristol Library, ring 0117 9037250 or see www.bristol.gov.uk/libraries for more information.
Bristol Writing is at the Central Library until April 30 during normal opening hours and entrance is free.