Main content

Art in response to trauma: Louise Allen and Maude Julien

Louise Allen and Maude Julien discuss their new memoirs, in which they look back at their abusive childhoods and how art and literature provided a lifeline in very dark times.

The trauma of child abuse lies at the heart of two new memoirs - Louise Allen's Thrown Away Child, and The Only Girl in the World by the French writer Maude Julien.

As they look back over their years of mistreatment by the adults in their lives, they explain how they found solace in art and literature - which provided both a lifeline, and an escape from pain and deprivation that was being inflicted on them from a very early age.

Presenter Stig Abell
Producer Jerome Weatherald.

Available now

30 minutes

Information and Support

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this edition of Front Row, there are organisations that can help:

  • The National Association for People Abused in Childhood offers support, advice and guidance to adult survivors of any form if childhood abuse

                    Call: 0808 801 0331 (10am - 9pm Mon - Thur & 10am - 6pm on Fridays)
                    Visit the NACAP website

  • Samaritans is available 24 hours a day for anyone struggling to cope, and provides a confidential place to talk

                    Call: 116 123
                    Visit the Samaritans website

  • Childline is a free, 24-hour confidential helpline for children and young people who need to talk

                     Call: 0800 1111
                    Visit the Childline website


Louise Allen

Louise Allen

Louise Allen's book: Thrown Away Child is available now in paperback, and as an audio download or an Ebook.


Main image above: Louise Allen with her painting Birth Mother in Ocelot

Image credit: Lloyd Allen

Image to the right: Louise Allen with Sir John Everett Millais' painting of Ophelia at Tate Britain

Maude Julien

Maude Julien

The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir by Maude Julien, translated by Adriana Hunter is out now in hardback.


Image: Maude Julien

Image credit: Alain Schmidt

Maude Julien

Maude Julien


Image: Maude Julien as a child with her father, Louis Didier

Image credit: Maude Julien


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Louisa Allen
Interviewed Guest Maude Julien
Presenter Stig Abell
Producer Jerome Weatherald


  • Fri 16 Feb 2018 19:15



A season discovering where artists find inspiration and helping listeners get creative.

BBC Arts Digital

BBC Arts Digital

The best of British culture live and on demand.

Front Row on TV

Front Row on TV

Join Mary Beard and guests for live and late debate on Friday evenings on BBC Two.