This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Jane Aaron, Emeritus Professor of English.
A sailor’s daughter from the fishing village of Llangrannog in Ceredigion, Sarah Jane Rees was from the 1860s onwards frequently hailed as a woman on a mission. Many of her contemporaries saw her as a pioneer, leading her society, and its women in particular, out of the dark caves in which they were entombed by Victorian class and gender prejudices into the light of a more egalitarian world.
This lecture will trace Cranogwen’s progress, through her various occupations as seamstress, sailor, teacher, poet, lecturer, traveller, essayist, editor, preacher and women’s movement leader, towards becoming an early role-model for the New Woman of late nineteenth-century Wales. Particular attention will be paid to her sustained attempts at exposing and demolishing the concept of gender difference as a false and meaningless fabrication.
Professor Jane Aaron is writing the definitive biography of Cranogwen. She is the editor of Honno Press’s reprint series Welsh Women’s Classics, for which she has edited five volumes.
Her monographs include Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writing in Wales (2007), which won the 2009 Roland Mathias Award, and Welsh Gothic (2013). She was a co-founder of the UWP series Gender Studies in Wales.
The Ursula Masson Memorial Lecture is sponsored by Women’s Archive Wales/Archif Menywod Cymru