Seminar – Akshi Singh on ‘Mrs Palfrey Must Fall: Empire, Loneliness, and Melancholy in Elizabeth Taylor’s Novels’

This seminar has been cancelled due to UCU strike action. In the sixth paper in our 2021/22 seminar series, Akshi Singh from Queen Mary, University of London discusses empire and melancholy in Elizabeth Taylor's writing.

When she was young, she had had an image of herself to present to her new husband, whom she admired; then to herself, thirdly to the natives (I am an Englishwoman). Now, no one reflected the image of herself, and it seemed diminished: it had lost two-thirds of its erstwhile value (no husband, no natives). Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont’

 Through a reading of Elizabeth Taylor’s novel Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, this paper offers an account of the way in which Elizabeth Taylor describes a particular form of loneliness and melancholy—one that is connected to loss of empire. Drawing upon Freud’s account of melancholia, and writing by Paul Gilroy and Anne Anlin Cheng, I make a case for why Elizabeth Taylor is a writer for our times.

This seminar will take place online.

All are welcome but booking is required. Please click here to register your attendance.