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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Great Expectations 150th anniversary: happily-wedded Miss Havisham sought

Great Expectations 150th anniversary: happily-wedded Miss Havisham soughtTo mark the 150th anniversary, in July, of the publication of Great Expectations, the Royal Society of Chemistry is searching for a happily-wedded modern Miss Havisham. The RSC will present a specially-recreated Victorian cake to the first woman with the maiden name Havisham coming forward to recount her successful wedding day. In the 1861 book Miss Havisham famously lives and dies amid the decaying reminders of her cancelled wedding day, her mansion dominated by a disintegrating cake colonised by spiders. The gothic character of the jilted bride still in her ragged wedding gown has gripped readers and cinema-goers in the a century-and-a-half since the book appeared, to the fascination of the Victorian public who bought it in record numbers. The RSC has researched the recipe for her wedding cake, the ingredients of which ensured that it lasted a long time although it eventually ended mouldering atop a dining table surrounded by other reminders of an abandoned wedding day

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