Maternity in the Age of Shakespeare

Event Date: 
07 Jun 2017


Gheeraerts Woman in Red

12:30-14:00 | Roberts Building, G08 lecture theatre, UCL

Free event

A number of arresting British portraits from the 16th and early 17th centuries depict their female subjects as visibly pregnant. This session will present these striking images alongside literary depictions of pregnancy by Shakespeare and others, as well as medical writings on pregnancy and motherhood from the period. Surprising differences will be revealed between the understanding of maternity in Shakespeare’s time and our own.


This session will be presented by Professor Helen Hackett (UCL English) and distinguished art historian Karen Hearn, Honorary Professor (UCL English). Helen has broad interests in Renaissance literature, including particular engagement with female writers and representations of women. She has written extensively on images of Elizabeth I and on Shakespeare. Karen is an historian of British art and culture c.1500-c.1710 and exhibition curator. She was the Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at the Tate Galleries from 1992-2012.


Tickets are available here: