Nicola Upson
Stanley and Elsie

Cambridge author Nicola Upson’s acclaimed series of novels based on the life of Josephine Tey revealed a talent for shedding new light on the past, combining careful historical detail with a flair for plot and character. In Stanley and Elsie, she turns her attention to the painter Stanley Spencer, reimagining his life as seen through the eyes of the women who knew him, and in particular his housekeeper Elsie. Elsie offers a fascinating new take on the painter – charismatic and inspirational, obsessive and exhausting, painfully human. This event is kindly hosted by The Fitzwilliam Museum, whose collection of works by Stanley Spencer is one of the most outstanding in Britain, and paintings by the artist can be seen in Gallery 1.

In conversation with Frances Spalding, art historian, critic, biographer and Festival Patron

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Festival Programme