STORIES IN STONE
The Mummy's Curse and Singing Bones
A salon in the cemetery with Marina Warner and Roger Luckhurst
Sunday 1st November from 1 to 2:30 pm
Was Murray a sensation-seeker or is the "unlucky mummy", which today resides in the British Museum, really cursed?
Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail.
In his poem "All Souls' Night" W. B. Yeats summons up the ghosts of dead friends on the night of the year when the boundary between this world and the next is said to be at its thinnest. The refrain of the poem "As mummies in the mummy-cloth are wound" evokes Yeats's close friend Thomas Douglas Murray. In 1889 Murray, a horse breeder and amateur archaeologist, visited Egypt where he purchased a mummy case, supposedly that of a high priestess named Amen-Ra. Within a few days of the case being shipped back to London, death and misfortune began to plague anyone who came into contact with it (Murray himself had to have his arm amputated after a shooting accident). According to some stories, the mummy was even responsible for the sinking of the Titanic. Was Murray a sensation-seeker or is the "unlucky mummy", which today resides in the British Museum, really cursed? All Souls' Night seems the perfect occasion for ROGER LUCKHURST to give his verdict on this ghoulish episode from the Edwardian era.
An expert on all aspects of mythology and folklore MARINA WARNER will talk on Singing Bones and Stories in Stone. Drawing on the fairytale and ghost story, she will tell how not just buildings but stones, images and art can be haunted, of music that lets loose hell and makes men murder, of iconoclasm and the return of the repressed.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS Marina Warner has published numerous award-winning studies of mythology and fairy tales. She is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the British Academy. She was awarded a CBE for services to Literature in 2008.