Alexandra Harris

Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies

Friday 16th September 2016

Alexandra Harris
Weatherland, Alexandra Harris

‘Woolf talked about biographers hanging up mirrors in odd corners to reflect their subjects in unexpected ways. I have tried to hang a mirror in the sky, and to watch the writers and artists who appear in it.’

A cultural historian and writer, Alexandra Harris has been fascinated by place since she was a child. For her latest book, Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies, she turns her attention to the weather and the inspiring role it’s played in our art and literature. Beautifully written, Weatherland argues that our weather is written into the landscape yet experienced individually. As evidence, she takes us on a sweeping panoramic journey through the centuries; reminding us of Milton’s love of spring and sunshine, Shelley and Ruskin’s fascination with clouds, Coleridge’s passion for wind and gale and the Brontes’ depictions of Yorkshire’s relentless rain and wild storms. A joyous celebration of both the elements and the imagination, Weatherland is to quote A.S. Byatt ‘hugely ambitious, exhilaratingly written and handsomely produced.’

Alexandra Harris won the Guardian First Book Award and a Somerset Maugham award for her debut, Romantic Moderns. Since then, she has written a short biography of Virginia Woolf and co-edited the anthology, Modernism on Sea. One of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers, she has presented programmes on a variety of subjects including cold, light and fireworks.

Alexandra will be in conversation with author and Observer writer Rachel Cooke.