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Imogen Hermes Gowar in conversation with Rachel Hewitt

Let Dulwich Books take you back to Georgian London for a special evening of fiction and history with Imogen Hermes Gowar and Rachel Hewitt.

Imogen is the author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, a spell-binding debut novel set in 1785. When the merchant Jonah Hancock hears that his captain has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid, gossip spreads through the docks and coffee shops, parlours and brothels of London. Suddenly, this very ordinary merchant finds himself catapulted into a glittering world of opulence and wealth beyond his wildest dreams. At a lavish party Jonah meets the celebrated courtesan Angelica Neal and both of their lives change forever.

Inspired by a real ‘mermaid’ in the British Museum, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is sure to be one of the most special books of 2018 – an unforgettable jewel of a novel.

Imogen will be in conversation with award-winning historian Rachel Hewitt, who recently published her second book A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind. This authoritative account of the 1790s tells the story of the pivotal decade that changed the way we think and feel about politics, power and nation building forever.

Initially the French Revolution of 1789 inspired transformative thinkers, but by the middle of the 1790s the wind had changed. The French Revolution descended into bloody Terror and the British government quashed radical political activities.  In the space of a single decade, feverish optimism gave way to bleak disappointment. A Revolution of Feeling is an account of the dramatic end of the Enlightenment, the beginning of an emotional landscape preoccupied by guilt, sin, failure, resignation and repression, and the origins of our contemporary approach to feeling and desire.

Together Imogen and Rachel will shine a light on this most dramatic period at the tail end of the Enlightenment. It promises to be an illuminating and entertaining evening.

Imogen Hermes Gowar will be in conversation with Rachel Hewitt at Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Rd, London SE21 8SW on 22nd February 2018 from 19.00 – 20.30. £10 (admission & glass of wine), £20 (admission, copy of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock & glass of wine), £30 (admission, copy of Revolution of Feeling & glass of wine), £45 (admission, copy of both books & glass of wine).

Tickets are available online here.

Horniman Museum and Gardens – February events


Colour: The Rainbow Revealed, 10 February-28 October
Colour: The Rainbow Revealed is an award-winning exhibition exploring the endless ways in which colour shapes our world.

Be dazzled by how colours are made and perceived, discover how animals use colour to attract and hide, and look into how different colours mean many different things for people across the planet.

The exhibition is also full of family-friendly displays and interactive games including an Art Machine for you to create your own vibrant masterpiece, a Mood Room with multi-coloured lights, and a Colour Café to learn why only certain colours tempt our taste buds.

Eye for Colour Exhibition at World Museum Liverpool.
Images by Gareth Jones

Ticket prices: Child £4.40; Adult £7.70: Family (2 adults, 2 children) £18.70. Prices include voluntary 10% Gift Aid donation. Standard prices also available. Horniman Members and Benefactors enjoy free, unlimited visits to the exhibition.

For more information and to book tickets go to


Coral: Fabric of the Reef, until Sunday 9 September
Inspired by the Horniman’s Aquarium and Natural History collection, artist Karen Dodd uses woollen fabric – dyed and sculpted, and intricately bound and stitched – to draw attention to coral and coral reefs, simultaneously celebrating their beauty and raising awareness of their vulnerability in the face of increasing environmental change.


Regular Events 

Horniman Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday, 

Visit the Horniman Farmers’ Market every Saturday to pick-up your weekly essentials direct from independent and local producers. Located in our glorious Gardens you will find stalls selling seasonal fruit and veg, artisan bread, organic meat and delicious hot food. We also have regular guest traders specialising in treats such as luxury chocolates, homemade jams and irresistible cakes.

Free entry.

Library Open Day. First Sunday of each month, 10.30am–5.30pm

Browse our library collections and see some of the library treasures.

Free, drop in.

Hear it Live! – Last Tuesday of every month, 3.30-4.30pm

Join us in the Music Gallery to hear performances and talks based on our musical instrument collection, including our 18th-century harpsichord.


Regular Family Events

February Half Term: 12-16 February

Family Art Fun, Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February at 11am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm, 2pm, 2.45pm

Enjoy free craft activities inspired by our family-friendly exhibition Colour: The Rainbow Revealed. Suitable for children for aged 3+.


Hands on Base: Horniman Explorers
Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February at 11am, 2pm

Drop in to these fun sessions to explore and touch objects from pueblo drums to puppets in our Hands on Base. Suitable for children for aged 3+.

Free. Drop in. 

Big Wednesday: Colour and Carnival
Wednesday 14 February, 10.30am-3.30pm

Celebrate the brilliant colours of Carnival costumes with performances and storytelling.


Carnival Dance Workshop
Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February
10am, 11.15am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.45pm (45 minute workshop)

Learn to dance like you’re partying through the streets of Brazil with Gandaia Arts. Suitable for families with children aged 4+.

Tickets: £5 per person.

Out The Box Girls’ Festival presented by charity, BelEve 

London-based charity, BelEve is celebrating its years of work empowering girls and young women by hosting an exclusive event at south London’s brand-new venue, Peckham Levels.

Taking place on Thursday 15th February from 4pm – 8pm, the event is hosted by BBC 1 Xtra’s DJ Melody Kane.

There will also be live music from Mobo-nominated, Nike Jemiyo and X Factor’s Rai-Elle alongside talks and panels featuring film director, Sofia Olins, Pro-Wrestling:EVE founder Emily Reed and award-winning entrepreneur Anne Timpany, among other special guests to be announced.

To cement the festival atmosphere, there will be stalls and interaction featuring exclusive nail art from leading nail brand, House of Lady Muck and make-up from esteemed make-up artist Rachel Barclay as well as a raffle offering money-can’t-buy prizes including signed Game Of Thrones merchandise, dance lessons, BelEve workshop places and much more.

The Festival is open to all, with the aim of raising funds for BelEve whose aim is to continue to empower and inspire girls and young women to maximise their potential, celebrate their achievements and be leaders in their world.

BelEve was founded five years ago by sisters, Chyloe and Marsha Powell as a tribute to their late mother. Their purpose was to equip girls and young women with the right support, skills and confidence to make informed choices about their future, improve their social economics prospects whilst taking control of their lives. BelEve works not only with girls, but also with their primary influencers: parents, teachers, local communities and other youth agencies by hosting workshops, mentoring programmes and events.

BelEve is a real labour of love for us both,” says co-founder, Chyloe Powell. “We had a hugely strong female role model in our mum and we wanted to celebrate this and created BelEve as her legacy. We also realised how lucky we were to have such a role model in our lives and that a lot of girls sadly don’t – this is why BelEve is so important; it gives those girls and young women the empowerment to believe they can, rightly, be anything they want to be and we’ll be right by their sides helping them do that.

We’re so excited about the Festival,” adds co-founder Marsha Powell. “It’s an event to showcase the work we’ve done so far, celebrate our recent charity status and raise funds to carry on doing this amazing work. We’re truly overwhelmed with the talent that has agreed to support this either by being at the event itself or sending prizes – we can’t wait!

Tickets are £15 for adults, £10 for children, or £30 for a family ticket (1 adult / 2 children) with ALL proceeds going straight back to the BelEve charity for them to continue to do their wonderful work. They are available at


The Foundation Schools’ Concert: Britten’s War Requiem

Over 500 pupils, parents and friends of Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) will perform together on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall.

The three Foundation Schools: Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS will come together on 19 February 2018, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of the Great War and pay tribute to their pupils and staff who selflessly served their country between 1914 and 1918.

The Schools will perform Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece, War Requiem, at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, where they will be joined by internationally recognised soloists Jane Irwin (soprano), Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Philip Tebb (baritone).

The concert will be conducted by the three Schools’ Directors of Music, Mr Chris Dearmer, Mr Richard Mayo and Mr Peter Gritton, and will also include Herbert Howells’ Elegy for viola and strings. Composed as personal tribute to a fellow student at the Royal College of Music who was killed in the Great War, Howells’ poignant piece makes a fitting companion to Britten’s work.

The Heads of the schools, Dr Gary Savage of Alleyn’s, Dr Joe Spence of Dulwich College, and Sally-Anne Huang of JAGS, anticipate the concert to be a memorable evening of music and commemoration, and a wonderful opportunity for their communities to give rightful thanks to all those who went before us.

All are welcome. Tickets at a range of prices from £15 to £45 are available from the Southbank Centre:



An Evening with Julian Barnes

Over the past few years Julian Barnes has been writing compressed, spare fiction and non-fiction which addresses the great themes of our time. In The Sense of An Ending (winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2011), The Noise of Time and now The Only Story, he has created an outstanding triptych of short novels that will emerge as a towering achievement of early 21st century English-language writing.

The Only Story opens in stockbroker country in the 1960s, complete with a tennis club, a golf course, unreliable cars, and prodigious quantities of alcohol and love. Paul is nineteen, home from university for the summer, and partnered with Susan, a local housewife of forty-nine, dressed in tennis whites with green piping, in the mixed doubles tournament. This chance pairing leads to a lifelong relationship but one laced with tragedy and regret, violence and repression. Barnes examines what happens when we allow ‘a social life to stand in for an emotional life’ and how co-dependency and its concomitant shame affect all concerned. A masterpiece of both restraint and insight.

Barnes does very few events and has agreed to talk about his writing with particular emphasis on this latest book. It will be a privilege to welcome him to Dulwich.

An Evening with Julian Barnes
Thursday 8th February, 19.00 – 20.30 at All Saints Church, Lovelace Rd, London SE21 8JY. £20 (admission + book) or £30 (admission for two + book). Tickets are available online here.