The Mysterious Mr. Marsh: Crawley’s Secret Storyteller Exhibition
Exhibition Launch Night at Crawley Library, May 9th
This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Richard Marsh (1857-1915), author of a diverse range of genre fiction, but most famous for his Gothic horror, crime thrillers and Doyle-esque detective stories (although unusually featuring a female detective, Judith Lee). Marsh was enormously popular in his time. Indeed, in 1910 Marsh’s publishers felt able to call him ‘the most popular living author’, and his creepy 1897 masterpieceThe Beetle famously outsold its close rival Dracula (also 1897) for many years.
Marsh himself led a fascinating and colourful life. Indeed, the consistent blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction in his personal life (his real name, for instance, was Richard Bernard Heldmann) in many ways complemented the recurring concerns around identity that are characteristic of his writing. Marsh also lived for almost all of his professional career, and wrote his most important work, in Three Bridges (1891-1910, present-day Crawley). This exhibition aims, therefore, to raise the profile of Marsh’s work with a wider public audience, whilst engaging with him as a figure of renewed interest and emerging significance within his local, as well as broader historical, context.
Exhibition Launch Night: May 9th, 7.30pm (for an 8pm start)
Venue: Crawley Library, West Sussex
The launch itself will involve discussions with leading scholars introducing Marsh’s work, performances by members of Crawley-based theatre company Pitchy Breath adapting key scenes from his novels, and a look around the exhibition over a glass or two of complementary wine. It should be a relaxed and illuminating evening celebrating the work of this compelling writer in the town that he called home.
Limited tickets available from Crawley Library or
on-line via: www.richard-marsh.com
Exhibition runs from May 9th until August 9th, 2013.
Organised by: Dr. Graeme Pedlingham (University of Sussex)
Part of the Culture Rich project. Supported by the AHRC, University of Sussex and West Sussex County Council in partnership