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Eileen O'Shaughnessy Blair: a rebel woman from Sunderland

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On 30 September, we are celebrating the life of Eileen O'Shaughnessy Blair- a rebel woman from Sunderland. During this event you will learn about Eileen’s connection to Sunderland, her marriage to George Orwell, and how she influenced some of his most famous works.

We will be running a flash fiction workshop aimed at schools 1-2 (as part of a wider competition for schools and colleges which will run in a separate event the following week), followed by the unveiling of a blue plaque at 2pm. 

The unveiling will be preceded by a workshop aimed at schools, where members of the Orwell Society including Richard Blair (George and Eileen's adopted son) will be on hand to answer any questions about Orwell's work and life, as well as Eileen's.  This workshop will also include an introductory session into writing flash fiction, and will launch a creative writing competition for schools to use flash fiction to engage with one of the themes related to Orwell that will be covered in the course of the workshop.  

Following the flash fiction workshop, the plaque will be unveiled by Richard Blair. The plaque will be located on Langham Tower and will mark the role Sunderland Church High School for Girls played in Eileen's life.  

Orwell is renowned throughout the world for his novel 'Animal Farm' and the dystopian classic 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', along with many more journalistic essays, social and political commentaries and literary reviews. A writer herself, Eileen met Orwell in 1935 and they married a year later. She is thought to have been a strong influence on Orwell's style of writing, in particular with 'Animal Farm'.

You can find out more about, Eileen O'Shaughnessy Blair here



This event is open to school group bookings from year 10 upwards.