Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


HYBRID: The 2023 Sylvia Townsend Warner Lecture

18 October 2023, 5:30 pm–8:30 pm

A detail of a black and white photograph of Sylvia Townsend Warner. Her gaze is fixing a point below the camera, she is wearing a pearl necklace, round glasses and has a short bob haircut

Join us for the 2023 Sylvia Townsend Warner Lecture, featuring Professor Claire Harman.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







The Sylvia Warner Townsend Society


IAS Common Ground, G11
Ground Floor, South Wing Wilkins Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society is very pleased to announce that Professor Claire Harman will be giving the 2023 Sylvia Townsend Warner Lecture. Her subject is '"The true voice of the heart": capture and evasiveness in Sylvia Townsend Warner's life and work'.

Claire Harman is an award-winning writer and critic, and the author of seven major literary biographies. She is especially known for her pioneering work on Sylvia Townsend Warner, including a biography published in 1989 and editions of Warner’s poetry and journals. She has taught English at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford and creative writing at Columbia University in New York City. She is now Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006 and became President of the Alliance of Literary Societies in 2016.

The previous three Sylvia Townsend Warner Lectures were given by Maud Ellmann (2017), Peter Swaab (2019) and David Trotter (2021) and are published by UCL Press in the Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society. They are freely available online as open access publications: After the Death of Don Juan: Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Spanish Novel; Sylvia Townsend Warner and the Possibilities of Freedom: The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society Lecture 2019; ‘My Usual Despicable Hold on Life’: The View from Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Diaries.

The event will be live-streamed as well as face-to-face. The link for the online presentation will be posted shortly.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.


The event is supported by UCL Press, the UCL English Department and the UCL Institute for Advanced Studies.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance on the day, and follow this FAQ link for more information and to read our virtual events code of conduct.