Main content

Kate Summerscale

What made Victorian women tick? Matthew Sweet delves into their psyche with the writers, Kate Summerscale and Sarah Ruhl and the historians, Kate Williams and Lynda Nead.

Victorian women cast a long shadow over our imaginations.... just think of Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre: or of George Eliot and Maggie Tulliver come to that. But do we do enough to differentiate between the fictional characters and the real women? What lies beneath our perceptions of either? Matthew Sweet embarks on an exploration of the Victorian woman's psyche with the writers, Kate Summerscale and Sarah Ruhl and the historians, Kate Williams and Lynda Nead. There's no guarantee of madwomen in the attic but there will certainly be talk about Kate Summerscale's new book, Mrs Robinson's Disgrace and of Elizabeth Jenkins' novel, Harriet -- a re-discovered classic about the infamous Penge murder in 1877. Sarah Ruhl is bound to talk about her new play which embraces that very Victorian problem hysteria and its not so well known remedy - the vibrator. And Kate Williams and Lynda Nead will range freely across the whole period and into the present where we now encounter New Victorians. Tune in to Night Waves with Matthew Sweet at ten o'clock and all will be revealed.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Available now

45 minutes

Broadcast

Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.