Monday 21 February 2011

Adrian Randall - 'Engines of Mischief' at Dulwich Picture Gallery tomorrow

The latest in the Dulwich Contextual Lecture Series takes place tomorrow, 22nd February, on the theme of the Luddite uprisings.

Professor Adrian Randall is giving a lecture, entitled "Engines of Mischief" (the title is a line from the song 'General Ludd's Triumph') about the Luddite Disturbances of 1811/1812. We have little other details of the lecture, but Professor Randall has written extensively about the Luddites in a number of publications over the years so it should be very much worth attending if you are in London. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited, price £10.

The lecture takes place at 10.30 a.m. and lasts for an hour. Dulwich Picture Gallery is at Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD. A Google map of the location is here.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Children's Crusade: Memoirs of a Teenage Radical by Philip de Gouveia

The blurb for tomorrow's afternoon play on BBC Radio 4 references the Luddites in a context that unsurprising and fairly predictable. Have a read for yourself:
Evie, a phenomenally bright but socially marginalised fifteen year-old, has had it with Western Civilization. Self-educated in the ideas of the Luddites, Mao and T.E. Lawrence, she wants to launch a mission against technology and the damage she believes it has wrought on the human race. She's taken a look at human history and decided it's time things changed. For good. But can she get her mobile-addicted classmates to join with her?
You only have to type 'Luddite' into Google and you'll find no-end of ill-informed popular references to Luddites along similar lines described by E P Thompson back in 1963 "Luddism lingers in the popular mind as an uncouth, spontaneous affair of illiterate handworkers, blindly resisting technology." The BBC's description of Philip de Gouveia's play lines that up alongside a vague anti-civilisation idea that so-called 'Neo-Luddites' have more recently cornered. Of course, we can't blame Mr de Gouveia for the copy written by the BBC about his play, so at this point we'll suspend judgement and may report back with our thoughts in a few days.

The play will be available on this webpage soon after broadcast, and will remain available for a number of days.