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Seminar 5:
The Anchoress

Robyn Cadwallader is a skilled story teller and the author of the acclaimed novel, The Anchoress. From her academic background she vividly captures the intricacies and sensibilities of the life of a thirteenth century anchoress. Sarah, a holy woman who spent her life locked in a small cell to the side of a church,devoting her days entirely to prayer.

Reviewing the book for The Sydney Morning Herald, Eleanor Limprect describes something of the inner-dividedness that characterized the life of the young anchoress:

While Sarah tries to deny her body and her physicality as her rulebook demands, she finds that instead she is increasingly aware of her senses: from the taste of an apple to the touch of a young child's hand. Cadwallader's writing evokes a heightened attention to the sense: you might never read a novel so sensuous yet unconcerned with romantic love. For this alone it is worth seeking out. But also because The Anchoress achieves what every historical novel attempts: reimagining the past while opening a new window — like a squint, perhaps — to our present lives.

Date Saturday 14 May, 2016
Time 9.30 am – 12.30 pm
Venue St Peter's Hall, Eastern Hill, Melbourne
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Speaker Robyn Cadwallader Robyn Cadwallader,
Robyn lives in the country outside Canberra. Her PhD thesis was a study of the story of St Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of childbirth, who was swallowed by a dragon and burst out its back, proclaiming herself a hero. It has been published as Three Methods for Reading the Thirteenth Century Seinte Marherete. It's academic writing, about female virginity and agency, and is actually more interesting than the title might suggest!

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