a curious invitation last tuesday society
a curious invitation the century club last tuesday society soho london
The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd


with Miranda Miller at the Century Club - Soho W1

Tuesday 29th November 2022
Doors open at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7:00 pm

In 1842, Richard Dadd, age 25, was a promising young artist and recent graduate of the Royal Academy where professors remarked on his gentility and cheerful good nature. One year later, after a grand tour through Europe and the Middle East, Dadd returned to London suffering from symptoms we would now associate with schizophrenia. Sadly, the illness led Dadd to murder his father, attempt to kill a stranger and plot the death of the pope and the Emperor of Austria. These heinous acts, Dadd explained, were carried out on the commands of the Egyptian god Osiris.

Dadd spent the rest of his life in Victorian Aslyums, first the Royal Bethlem Hospital, or Bedlam, and then in Broadmoor. Despite medical reports describing his behaviour here as incoherent and deluded, he was able to paint and encouraged to do so. The dreamlike, fantastical compositions he completed in confinement came to earn him the accolade as “one of the most captivating British artists of the 19th century”.

In this talk, author Miranda Miller will explore Dadd's life and work, including his masterpiece The Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke, now in Tate Britain. She will reveal the story of Dr Hood, the resident physician-superintendent of Bethlem during Dadd’s time there, and how his progressive policies towards the patients allowed Dadd’s talents to blossom. Miller will also uncover her reasons for writing her novel about Dadd.

Tickets £12 - please click here to buy.

Miranda Miller
Miranda has lived in Italy, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Japan before settling in North London. She teaches at the Courtauld Institute, where she has a Fellowship from the Royal Literary Fund. She has published seven novels, a book of short stories about Saudi Arabia called A Thousand and One Coffee Mornings and a book of interviews with homeless women and politicians. At the moment she is writing a novel set in London in 2016 about different generations of refugees.


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The Century Club
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