12pm literary event at Charleston followed by picnic in grounds. Join optional walk from Ram pub at Firle to Charleston, or on return journey afterwards. Tickets for Charleston event £14. Lifts available from Brighton ( 30 minutes drive).
Henrietta Garnett and Rupert Thomson with Frances Spalding
The idea of the artist’s muse has exerted a powerful fascination since classical mythology. Novelist Rupert Thomson sets his new book, Secrecy, in post Renaissance Florence: a 17th-century Pygmalion and sculptor in wax is commissioned to create a life-size Venus and searches for the perfect woman. Henrietta Garnett’s Wives and Stunners is a vivid account of the muses who held the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in thrall. Set against the background of mid-Victorian bohemian England, she explores the interconnected lives of the women who adorn the walls of our galleries. Henrietta Garnett is a writer and the granddaughter of Vanessa Bell. Chaired by Frances Spalding, biographer and art historian.