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Angela Carter’s place-making: memorialising an iconoclast?

Crofts, Charlotte; Mulvey-Roberts, Marie



It is ironic that the iconoclastic Angela Carter was "canonised" as the White Witch of English Literature following her death, which raises the question of whether this form of commemoration actually contained or limited her reception? This paper will draw attention to under-researched areas of her life and work through an analysis of her literary treatment of memorialisation and desecration, whilst at the same time critically exploring our own impulse to memorialise her connections to/in Bristol.

The Angela Carter Society, which was co-founded in 2017 by Charlotte Crofts, Marie Mulvey-Roberts and Caleb Sivyer (since joined by Stephen E Hunt), all based at UWE Bristol, has undertaken various memorialising activities to claim Carter as one of Bristol’s most important writers. The society grew out of the Strange Worlds Exhibition, organised to commemorate the 25th anniversary since Carter’s death, which was co-curated by Mulvey-Roberts at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol where Carter lived for nearly ten years during the 1960s. This was supported by the international Fireworks conference (January 2017), the setting up of the Get Angela Carter website to document her links with the city, and we have since developed a guided walk mapping the Bristol locations relevant to her life and work, based on Hunt’s book on Angela Carter’s Provincial Bohemia. The legacy of Angela Carter has also been commemorated by heritage plaques on buildings where she lived, the most recent of which is located in Bristol. As a breaker of icons, would Angela Carter have approved?

For this 30th anniversary symposium, Mulvey-Roberts will revisit the Strange Worlds exhibition by way of a virtual curator’s tour and reflect upon the artworks selected and how they relate to Carter’s life and work. The ghosts of the art works which never made it to the exhibition will also be revealed. This paper will explore the transformational symbiosis between writer and place through which the civic importance of a local writer, who has received international acclaim, has now been finally recognised in the places where she lived.


Crofts, C., & Mulvey-Roberts, M. (2022, March). Angela Carter’s place-making: memorialising an iconoclast?. Presented at Angela Carter: Radical Prescience, University of Chichester

Presentation Conference Type Speech
Conference Name Angela Carter: Radical Prescience
Conference Location University of Chichester
Start Date Mar 5, 2022
End Date Mar 5, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2023
Keywords Angela Carter; Iconoclasm; Memorialisation; Monuments; Statues
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