Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Angle-Boer War w/ Sarah LeFanu

13 Nov 2021 – 12:00 - 13:00 GMT
Clifton Village Lit Fest
THE CRYPT, Christ Church
Clifton Down Road

Join Something of Themselves author Sarah LeFanu and Zöe Steadman-Milne of Bristol Ideas for a conversation about Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Angle-Boer War.

About the book

In early 1900, the paths of three British writers—Rudyard Kipling, Mary Kingsley and Arthur Conan Doyle—crossed in South Africa, during what has become known as Britain’s last imperial war. Each of the three had pressing personal reasons to leave England behind, but they were also motivated by notions of duty, service, patriotism and, in Kipling’s case, jingoism.

Sarah LeFanu compellingly opens an unexplored chapter of these writers’ lives, at a turning point for Britain and its imperial ambitions. Was the South African War, as Kipling claimed, a dress rehearsal for the Armageddon of World War One? Or did it instead foreshadow the anti-colonial guerrilla wars of the later twentieth century?

Weaving a rich and varied narrative, LeFanu charts the writers’ paths in the theatre of war, and explores how this crucial period shaped their cultural legacies, their shifting reputations, and their influence on colonial policy.

About the author

Sarah LeFanu’s books include Rose Macaulay and S is for Samora: A Lexical Biography of Samora Machel and the Mozambican Dream. Formerly an editor at The Women’s Press, and artistic director of the Bath Literature Festival (2004–9), she regularly chairs events for the Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol Women’s Literature Festival and blogs at www.sarahlefanu.com.

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