Writing in the rain

Filed under: Non-fiction

Alexandra Harris explores the relationship between writers and artists the weather.

Poets, novelists, playwrights and painters across the centuries, looking up at the same skies and walking in the same brisk air, have felt very different things. Drawing on writers from Chaucer to Ian McEwan, from the creator of the Luttrell Psalter in the 14th century to John Piper in the 20th, Alexandra Harris’s Weatherland, published in autumn 2015, builds on small evocative detail to explore the ways in which the weather is daily recreated in the human imagination.

In a talk co-hosted with the National Portrait Gallery, introduced by the biographer Anne Chisholm, and accompanied by slides of the writers and artists whose work she explores, Harris shows how we experience weather physically, emotionally and spiritually. Harris’s first book, Romantic Moderns (2010), traced connections between some of the most brilliant artists and writers of the 20th century, and won the Guardian First Book Award.

We are grateful to the National Portrait Gallery, our partner for this event.

Recorded on: October 15, 2015