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Dr Christopher Wiley publishes two articles in Women’s History journal

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Dr Christopher Wiley has contributed two articles to the latest issue of Women’s History, the journal of the Women’s History Network.

The special double-issue, ‘1918-2018’, was dedicated to the women’s suffrage movement in the centenary year of women gaining the parliamentary vote in the UK, and features essays by a range of leading scholars of women’s history.

Dr Wileys first article, ‘Ethel Smyth, Suffrage and Surrey: From Frimley Green to Hook Heath, Woking’, combines women’s history and local history in order to illustrate how the suffragette campaign was highly dependent on rural locations through the example of Ethel Smyth.

His other article is ‘A Fresh Start and Two (More) Portraits: Theatrical Shows on the Life and Work of Ethel Smyth for 2018’, a review-article of Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle and Ethel Smyth: A Furious Longing (the latter having been co-written by Dr Wiley).

Further information on the journal special issue is available here: https://womenshistorynetwork.org/womens-history-autumn-2018/

Bibliographic citations

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Ethel Smyth, Suffrage and Surrey: From Frimley Green to Hook Heath, Woking’, Women’s History: The Journal of the Women’s History Network, Vol. 2, No. 11 (Autumn 2018), pp. 11–18.

Wiley, Christopher. ‘A Fresh Start and Two (More) Portraits: Theatrical Shows on the Life and Work of Ethel Smyth for 2018’, Women’s History: The Journal of the Women’s History Network, Vol. 2, No. 11 (Autumn 2018), pp. 39–40.

Full texts

The full texts are available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/849970/ and http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/849971/

Dr Christopher Wiley serves as historical adviser and scriptwriter for community play on Ethel Smyth

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Ethel Smyth - A Furious LongingDr Christopher Wiley has acted as historical adviser as well as one of the team of scriptwriters for the community play Ethel Smyth: A Furious Longing – The Story of Woking’s Composer.

Several years in the planning, the play was performed by Woking Community Play Association from Thursday 4–Saturday 6 October 2018 at the H.G. Wells Centre, Woking.

Dr Wiley was one of five scriptwriters who collaborated on the 90-minute play, as well as advising on its historical and musical elements.

Dr Wiley’s contributions to the script drew directly on his research on Ethel Smyth, including her involvement with the suffragette movement, her operas The Wreckers and The Boatswain’s Mate, and her relationship with the writer Virginia Woolf.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers presentation at Ethel Smyth’s childhood home

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr Christopher Wiley has given a talk on Ethel Smyth at her childhood home, Frimhurst Family House, Frimley Green, on Saturday 15 September 2018.

The event was organised for Heritage Open Days by Surrey Heath Museum and the charity ATD Fourth World, which now operates at Frimhurst Family House.

It marked the unveiling of blue plaques commemorating both Smyth and the philanthropist Grace Goodman, who transformed the house into its present function as recuperative facility for families in extreme poverty.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley previously gave a talk at Frimhurst Family House on the composer and suffragette back in 2016.

Further information on the event is available here: https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/surrey-heath-museum/museum-events/heritage-open-days-surrey-heath

Dr Christopher Wiley at the unveiling of the blue plaque to Ethel Smyth in Woking

Update: The following weekend, on Saturday 22 September, Dr Wiley attended a private ceremony (pictured, above) at which a blue plaque was unveiled at Smyth’s former house in Woking.

Dr Wiley’s interview about the event for That’s Surrey TV may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiBN2ZXVPz0

Media coverage may also be found at the following link: http://surreyresidents.co.uk/2018/09/24/blue-plaque-marks-the-duchess-of-wokings-former-home/

As well as on Woking Borough Council’s website: https://www.woking.gov.uk/news/blue-plaque-marks-duchess-woking%E2%80%99s-former-home

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Woking History Society

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley gave a talk on Ethel Smyth for Woking History Society in The Gallery at Christ Church Woking on Monday 3 September 2018.

Addressing over 50 audience members, Dr Wiley’s hour-long presentation discussed Smyth’s activity as composer, author, suffragette, and, for the last several decades of her life, a Woking resident.

Dr Wiley previously spoke about Ethel Smyth at The Lightbox, Woking for International Women’s Day earlier in the year, as well as hosting and performing in a concert of Smyth’s music at Christ Church Woking in 2014, to mark the 70th anniversary of her death.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives interview on Ethel Smyth for Swedish television

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Dr Christopher Wiley has been interviewed for Sveriges Television (SVT) as part of a mini-series of half-hour programmes focusing on orchestral music composed by women.

Interview with Swedish television

Talking about Ethel Smyth, Dr Wiley was filmed in conversation with the acclaimed Norwegian conductor, Cathrine Winnes.

Filming took place on Tuesday 28 August 2018 both in Dr Wiley’s office, and on location at Smyth’s former home in Woking.

This television appearance evidences Dr Wiley’s reputation as an internationally leading researcher on Smyth, and follows his previous interviews on Smyth for radio and television earlier in the year.

The television series is due to be broadcast in Sweden in early 2019.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Surrey Local History Symposium at Surrey History Centre

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Surrey History CentreDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled Dame Ethel Smyth, Ground-breaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at the Annual Symposium of Surrey Local History Committee on Saturday 21 April 2018.

The one-day symposium, whose theme was The Changing Role of Women’, featured presentations from five speakers who work in areas of local history. Organized by a committee of Surrey Archaeological Society, the event was held at Surrey History Centre, Woking, and attracted around 40 audience members from across the county.

In addition to his internationally recognized academic research, Dr Wiley has previously spoken on Ethel Smyth at a range of local history events in the Surrey area, including talks at The Lightbox, Woking, The Guildford Institute, and at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

The programme for the Surrey Local History Symposium is available at the following links:

Surrey History Centre – https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/heritage-culture-and-recreation/archives-and-history/surrey-history-centre/heritage-events

Surrey Archeological Society – https://www.surreyarchaeology.org.uk/content/changing-role-of-women-surrey-local-history-symposium

Celebrate Woking – https://www.celebratewoking.info/events/annual-symposium-changing-role-of-women

Dr Christopher Wiley gives interview on Ethel Smyth for Pyrford TV ARTS

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Dr Christopher Wiley at Woking Golf Club

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured in an eight-minute segment for the Spring Edition 2018 of Pyrford TV ARTS, on Woking’s famous former resident, Dame Ethel Smyth.

Speaking to presenter Tim Matthews (see picture), Dr Wiley discussed Smyth’s activity as composer, author, and suffragette, as well as her passion for sports including golf.

The eight-minute segment was filmed at Woking Golf Club in Hook Heath, near Woking, of which Smyth was a member for many years. So keen was she on the sport that she had her house built adjacent to the golf course, where she lived from 1910 until her death in 1944.

Pyrford TV ARTS produces 20-minute programmes several times a year, featuring the arts and creative worlds of Pyrford, Woking, and North Surrey. The segment on Smyth was included to tie in with the centenary of women’s enfranchisement in the UK, which falls this year.

The segment on Ethel Smyth is available for viewing online here: https://vimeo.com/262660959

The full 23-minute programme may be viewed here (the segment on Smyth starts at 09:18): https://youtu.be/fFAuVmbmmPw

The programme is also available at the Pyrford TV ARTS website: https://www.pyrfordtvarts.com/

In addition, it is featured on the webpage of the Woking Remembers 2018 programme, part of the Celebrate Woking festival: https://www.celebratewoking.info/woking-remembers

Credits: Pyrford TV (video); Surrey History Centre (images); Retrospect Opera (musical excerpt from Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate)

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