Illustration of Mary Wollstonecraft, made by artist Jess Ebsworth


Lizzy's on the Green

Back to the directions -

  • Take a look at the red brick houses just ahead of the cobblers; you are now in front of the oldest surviving terrace in London. Note the brown door in the middle of the terrace – this was originally a wider opening for horses to reach the stables which were the back of the houses.

Did you know?

Built in 1658, the four buildings at 52-55 Newington Green have survived the Great Fire of London as well as two World Wars.
Famous residents of the terrace have included Dr Richard Price, the famous preacher and dissident, who moved into No 54 in 1758 (by this time the terrace was already a hundred years old!). During the next few years, and no doubt due to his sympathies towards the American Revolution, Price was visited at No 54 by many of the American ‘founding fathers’ including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Mary herself, of course, would also have been a regular visitor. On this app is a short film VINDICATION by Fragments & Monuments written by Kaethe Fine depicting one of these famous soirées; in it Joseph Johnson, Wollstonecraft’s publisher, Tom Paine, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft dine and converse at the invitation of Richard Price.

Back to the directions -

  • Put the terrace behind you by turning immediately left cross over the zebra crossing towards Lizzy's on the Green. As you arrive at the cafe, look to the railings on your left and note the history guide about the Green attached to them.
  • Walk past the history guide keeping it and the children’s playground on your left into Newington Green. Turn immediately right and walk onto the decking of Lizzy's cafe and wander down to the end of the tables. Settle yourself here for a few moments to enjoy our next readings!

Rebecca Boey reading

On Mary Wollstonecraft (1925)

in The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf

Certainly Mary could say this with truth. When she was a little more than thirty she could look back upon a series of actions which she had carried out in the teeth of opposition. She had taken a house by prodigious efforts for her friend Fanny, only to find that Fanny’s mind was changed and she did not want a house after all. She had started a school. She had persuaded Fanny into marrying Mr. Skeys. She had thrown up her school and gone to Lisbon alone to nurse Fanny when she died. On the voyage back she had forced the captain of the ship to rescue a wrecked French vessel by threatening to expose him if he refused. And when, overcome by a passion for Fuseli, she declared her wish to live with him and been refused flatly by his wife, she had put her principle of decisive action instantly into effect, and had gone to Paris determined to make her living by her pen.

The conflict of all these contradictions shows itself in her face, at once so resolute and so dreamy, so sensual and so intelligent, and beautiful into the bargain with its great coils of hair and the large bright eyes that Southey thought the most expressive he had ever seen. The life of such a woman was bound to be tempestuous. Every day she made theories by which life should be lived; and every day she came smack against the rock of other people’s prejudices. Every day too — for she was no pedant, no cold-blooded theorist — something was born in her that thrust aside her theories and forced her to model them afresh.

Mary’s life had been an experiment from the start, an attempt to make human conventions conform more closely to human needs. And her eventual marriage to Godwin was only a beginning; all sorts of things were to follow after. Mary was going to have a child. She was going to write a book to be called The Wrongs of Women. She was going to reform education. She was going to come down to dinner the day after her child was born - that experiment was her last. She died in child-birth. She whose sense of her own existence was so intense, who had cried out even in her misery,

I cannot bear to think of being no more — of losing myself — nay, it appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist,

died at the age of thirty-six. But she has her revenge. Many millions have died and been forgotten in the hundred and thirty years that have passed since she was buried; and yet as we read her letters and listen to her arguments and consider her experiments, and realise the high-handed and hot-blooded manner in which she cut her way to the quick of life, one form of immortality is hers undoubtedly: she is alive and active, she argues and experiments, we hear her voice and trace her influence even now among the living.

If People Disapprove of You (2012)

by Sophie Hannahs

Make being disapproved of your hobby.
Make being disapproved of your aim.
Devise new ways of scoring points
In the Being Disapproved Of Game.

Let them disapprove in their dozens.
Let them disapprove in their hordes.
You’ll find that being disapproved of
Builds character, brings rewards.

Just like any form of striving
Don’t be arrogant; don’t coast
On your high disapproval rating.
Try to be disapproved of most.

At this point, if it’s useful,
Draw a pie chart or a graph.
Show it to someone who disapproves.
When they disapprove, just laugh.

Count the emotions you provoke:
Anger, suspicion, shock.
One point for each of these
And two for each boat you rock.

Feel yourself warming to your task –
You do it bloody well.
At last you’ve found an area
In which you can excel.

Savour the thrill of risk without
The fear of getting caught.
Whether they sulk or scream or pout,
Enjoy your new-found sport.

Meanwhile all those who disapprove
While you are having fun
Won’t even know your game exists
So tell yourself you’ve won.

The Tea of Consent (2015)

by Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess

It seems a lot of people really, REALLY don’t get what ‘consent’  means. It seems people really have a problem understanding that before you have sex with someone, and that’s everytime you have sex with them, make sure they want to have sex with you. This goes for men, women, everyone. Whoever you are initiating sexytimes with, just make sure they are actually genuinely up for it. That’s it. It’s not hard. Really.

If you’re still struggling, just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea.

You say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they go “omg yes, I would LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!” then you know they want a cup of tea.

If you say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they um and ahh and say, “I’m not really sure…” then you can make them a cup of tea or not, but be aware that they might not drink it, and if they don’t drink it then – this is the important bit –  don’t make them drink it. You can’t blame them for you going to the effort of making the tea on the off-chance they wanted it; you just have to deal with them not drinking it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you are entitled to watch them drink it.

If they say “No thank you” then don’t make them tea. At all. Don’t make them tea, don’t make them drink tea, don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea, ok?

They might say “Yes please, that’s kind of you” and then when the tea arrives they actually don’t want the tea at all. Sure, that’s kind of annoying as you’ve gone to the effort of making the tea, but they remain under no obligation to drink the tea. They did want tea, now they don’t. Sometimes people change their mind in the time it takes to boil that kettle, brew the tea and add the milk. And it’s ok for people to change their mind, and you are still not entitled to watch them drink it even though you went to the trouble of making it.

If they are unconscious, don’t make them tea. Unconscious people don’t want tea and can’t answer the question “do you want tea” because they are unconscious.

Ok, maybe they were conscious when you asked them if they wanted tea, and they said yes, but in the time it took you to boil that kettle, brew the tea and add the milk they are now unconscious. You should just put the tea down, make sure the unconscious person is safe, and  – this is the important bit – don’t make them drink the tea. They said yes then, sure, but unconscious people don’t want tea.

If someone said yes to tea, started drinking it, and then passed out before they’d finished it, don’t keep on pouring it down their throat. Take the tea away and make sure they are safe.  Because unconscious people don’t want tea. Trust me on this.

If someone said “yes” to tea around your  house last saturday, that doesn’t mean that they want you to make them tea all the time. They don’t want you to come around unexpectedly to their place and make them tea and force them to drink it going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST WEEK”, or to wake up to find you pouring tea down their throat going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST NIGHT”

Is a stupid analogy? Of course we wouldn’t force feed someone tea because they said yes to a cup last week. OF COURSE we wouldn’t pour tea down the throat of an unconcious person because they said yes to tea 5 minutes ago when they were conscious. But if we can understand how completely ludicrous it is to force people to have tea when they don’t want tea, and we are able to understand when people don’t want tea, then how hard is it to understand when it comes to sex?

Whether it’s tea or sex, Consent Is Everything.

And on that note, I am going to make myself a cup of tea because tea is brilliant.