Family Secrets – A talk by Author Deborah Cohen

Monday, 24th June 2013  6.30pm

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What did the Victorians keep secret in the past – and why?  Drawing upon scores of previously sealed records, the prize winning historian Deborah Cohen offers a sweeping account of how shame has changed over the last two centuries.  She will delve into the familial dynamics of shame and guilt – focusing in particular on the story of Normansfield and learning disabilities – to investigate the part that families have played in the transformation of social mores for the Victorian era to the present day.

Born into a family with its own fair share of secrets, Deborah Cohen was raised in Kentucky and educated at Harvard and Berkeley.   She teaches at Northwestern University.  Her last book was the award-winning Household Gods, a history of the British love-affair with the home.

scrupulous research with cool analysis and a humane intelligence – Financial Times

Cohen is a formidable researcher, and she narrates the stories she has uncovered with infectious delight.  A find.  Daily Telegraph

book of marvels.  What marks out Family Secrets as an important book is not so much its breadth … as its depth… Guardian

Tickets are £5 from 0333 1212 300 or email lesley.alabaf@downs-syndrome.org.uk to reserve places.