Gates to the Glorious and the Unknown
“Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.” E.M Forster
Gates to the Glorious and the Unknown combines research from the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW), the Centre for Research in Kent History and Archaeology (CRKHA) and Creative and Professional Writing. The story is inspired by Mary Braddon’s Lady Audley, who travels across England adapting and changing her identity in order to survive.
In 1862 a young woman called Lucy boards a train at the newly opened Victoria Station in London. In 1922 she turns up on the beach in Margate where T. S. Eliot is writing his major poem The Wasteland. But where has she been all this time?
Visitors can ‘choose their own adventure’ as Lucy time travels down the Kent coast, responding to the cultural challenges posed by New Women, suffragettes and the temptations of Whitstable oysters. Or simply take the advice of Dymchurch resident E. Nesbit, ‘let’s take our Margate spades and go and dig in the gravel-pits. We can pretend it’s seaside.’
There were two events related to this research project:
- On Wednesday 25th November 2015, as part of the Folkestone Book Festival, researchers from the ICVWW took a group of fortunate time travellers on an intriguing tour of the local coastline. (The event completely sold out!)
- On Friday 20th November 2015, as part of Being Human, the UK's only National Festival of the Humanities, the ICVWW invited amateur sleuths to investigate a mystery.