Lost Voices writer-in-residence: Beth Underdown
2018 marks 100 years since some women in Britain got the vote. However, due to age, marriage and property qualifications the majority of women weren’t given a voice in 1918. From 3 March – 7 October 2018 the Lost Voices exhibition is exploring the lives of women at Quarry Bank whose voices weren’t heard then and who often remain lost to us today. In response to Lost Voices and as part of Trust New Art, we’ve commissioned Beth Underdown as our writer-in-residence.
Beth was born in Rochdale and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. Her debut novel, ‘The Witchfinder's Sister’, is based on the witch-hunts orchestrated by Matthew Hopkins in seventeenth century Essex and won the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown 2017. Beth will be in residence at Quarry Bank in March and April, researching in the archives and discovering more about the themes and characters of Lost Voices. She will then create new fiction inspired by her research, and present it at Manchester Literature Festival in October 2018.
" I'm delighted to have been appointed as a National Trust writer-in-residence. As a northern writer I feel very connected to the cotton industry which employed some of my ancestors, and I'm excited to see what inspiration I can draw from a place so rich with shared history. To have this opportunity in the centenary year of some women winning the right to vote feels particularly special, and it will be really interesting to try to capture something of this pivotal historical moment in my work, alongside the life of Quarry Bank today."