Posted 6th October 2017
Susan Owens: The Ghost a Cultural History
The idea of writing a book about ghosts came to me four years ago when I was moving house. I was exchanging a modern London flat for a rambling medieval house in a Suffolk village, and what struck me when I described my new (or, rather, old) home to friends was how often I got the same reaction: 'is it haunted?' Forget the garden and the location – it was the idea that ghosts would inevitably be lurking in the house's dark corners that grabbed their attention. I liked this idea that over the centuries a medieval house must have accumulated the spirits of former residents along with its general patina of age. It made me think about the firm grip ghosts have on our imaginations, and to wonder whether it has always been this way. My research on the book, which took me to see medieval wall paintings and haunted houses and introduced me to the worlds of ballads, light shows and spirit photography in search of ghosts, made me conclude that it has. We in the British Isles have always had ghosts on the brain.
I am looking forward to being at the Watts Gallery on Friday 13th October, where I shall introduce some intriguing ghosts of past and present at the launch of my new book - The Ghost a Cultural History.
Susan Owens is is an art historian and curator. Formerly curator of paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, she has published and lectured widely on British art.
Susan Owens: The Ghost a Cultural History, Friday 13 October, 7 - 8pm, £10 per person.
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