This day school explores the lives of four women who were significant individuals in the Midlands during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Sabrina Sidney is best known as a foundling child, acquired by the Lunar Man, Thomas Day, to educate as his future wife. Kate Iles reconstructs Sabrina’s life so that she emerges as more than a subject of an educational experiment. Marion Roberts presents the life history of Lichfield poet, cultural critic and associate of Erasmus Darwin. Anne Boulton was the daughter of Matthew Boulton. Shena Mason presents the biography of a woman who was more than simply the child of a famous man. Sally Hoban and Jon Wood consider the significance of the photographic pioneer, Elizabeth Stockdale Wilkinson and situate her within the context of historical l debates around gender and artistic and scientific practice in the period. The event is chaired by Malcolm Dick.
10.00am – 10.10am: Malcolm Dick, Introduction
10.10am – 11.10am: Kate Iles, The Adventurous History of Sabrina Sidney
11.10am – 11.25am: Refreshments
11.25am – 12.25pm: Marion Roberts, Anna Seward (1742-1809): a Dynamic Woman
12.25pm – 1.25pm: Lunch
1.25 pm – 2.25pm: Shena Mason, 'An Amiable Female Character' - the Life of Miss Anne Boulton
2.25pm – 2.40pm: Refreshments
2.40pm – 3.40pm: Sally Hoban and Jon Wood, Elizabeth Stockdale Wilkinson: An Early Photographic Pioneer?
3.40pm – 4.00pm: Final Questions to the Contributors, chaired by Malcolm Dick
Dr Malcolm Dick is Director of the Centre for West Midlands History at the University of Birmingham and editor of the new regional magazine, History West Midlands.
Sally Hoban wrote Miller's Collecting Modern Design andis Heritage Officer and Training Officer at Birmingham Assay Office and isresearching for a PhD at the University of Birmingham on women designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Midlands.
Dr Kate Iles recently completed her PhD on Sabrina Sidney at the University of Birmingham. She has worked as a librarian and teacher and as project officer on the Revolutionary Players project: www.revolutionaryplayers.org.uk
Shena Mason has written several guides to local museums and books on the history of Birmingham including a biography of Anne Boulton. She also edited the catalogue for the recent Matthew Boulton exhibition.
Marion Roberts is a former nurse, journalist, teacher of creative writing and chair of the Lunar Society. She has a MLitt from the University of Birmingham on Anna Seward and is writing a biography based on her research.
Jon Wood works in outreach as a multi-disciplinary science communicator and a technical team leader supporting the research of the neuroscience team at Aston University. He is interested in the history of science.