Tag Archives: Carolyn Jess Cooke

Writing Motherhood at the Swindon Festival of Literature

6 May
Writing Motherhood

From left: Rowan Coleman, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, C L Taylor

The mostly forgotten writer Cyril Connolly thought the pram in the hall ‘the sombre enemy of good art’.

On the face of it I’d agree: good motherhood is generally the enemy of good sleep, good sanity, good brain cells and good bank account. Children come first; not least because they scream louder.

But did Cyril mean this the same as me? Or did he comment with an inherent sexism born of early twentieth century attitudes, implying that the women’s place was in the home with the hallway pram? Hormones and responsibilities meant that women could never aspire to good art? Or was he commiserating with women because the relentlessness of motherhood (especially pre-washing machine era) left little room for anything else? Continue reading