Love, Desire and Melancholy: Inspired by the Writings of Constance Maynard

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6 November 2012

Time: 9:30am - 7:00pm
Venue: ArtsTwo Building, Mile End Campus, E1 4NS

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The Centre for the History of the Emotions and Queen Mary, University of London Archives invite you to a symposium to explore love, desire, melancholy and religion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These themes are inspired by the personal experiences described in the autobiographical writings of Constance Maynard (1849-1935), which were recently digitised, by the Archives.

Constance Maynard was a pioneer in higher education for women. She was also a prolific writer, whose personal writings cover over 40 years of her life and touch on topics such as her role in Westfield College, her devout Christian faith, her close friendships with other women and her attempts to understand her emotions.

Key Note Speakers
Professor Seth Koven, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, The Match Girl and the Heiress: Christian Revolution and Languages of Love Between Women in the London Slums.

Professor Pauline Phipps, University of Windsor, Constance Maynard's Atonement: The Passions of an English Educational Pioneer (1849-1935).

Other Speakers
Professor Laura Doan, The University of Manchester, Constance Maynard and the Historiography of Sexuality.

Angharad Eyre, Queen Mary, University of London, PhD candidate, Militant love and friendship: Constance Maynard and the female missionary tradition.

Professor Carol Mavor, The University of Manchester, An open secret, lit by something lightly incestuous: Julia Margaret Cameron's photographs of Paul and Virginia (1864).

Professor Sue Morgan, University of Chichester, Sex and Common-Sense: Maude Royden, Religion and Modern Sexuality.

Helena Whitbread, Author, Anne Lister 1791-1840 'I was not born to live alone. I must have the object with me & in loving & being loved I could be happy.' (Anne Lister, 21st April. 1823).

The evening will be concluded with a roundtable discussion and reception.

Constance Maynard's experience of love, desire, melancholy, and religion are recorded in her personal writings, which are the inspiration for the themes explored in the symposium.

Constance Maynard's personal writings include her Green Book diaries written between 1866 and 1834, in which she describes her 'inner life', and an unpublished autobiography, written in her latter years in the style of a reflective diary.

This symposium is a celebration of the digitisation of the 'Green Book' diaries and autobiography, published by Queen Mary, University of London Archives in April 2012:
More information about the Archives can be found here:

For further information please contact: Lorraine Screene: