Notes from a Biscuit Tin

Notes from a Biscuit Tin is a year-long celebration of the philosophical vision of Mary Midgley.

Between September 2019 - on what would have been her 100th birthday - and September 2020, Midgley's erstwhile biscuit tin will complete a round-the-world voyage before returning to its home in the Midgley Archives.

The voyage of the tin

Mary dispensed wit, wisdom and ginger snaps to her visitors over many decades. In this spirit, for 12 months, in 12 locations across the world, 12 conversations will take place between philosophers and poets on themes from Midgley's work.

The conversation will begin with the poet reading a commissioned poem on the theme. Find out about the poets, philosophers and conversations happening near you. You can also find month-by-month readings on the themes.

Explore the locations

Michael Bavidge & Gillian Allnutt

Michael Bavidge & Gillian Allnutt

Jane Heal & Ruth Padel

Jane Heal & Ruth Padel

Clare Mac Cumhaill & Sarah Howe

Clare Mac Cumhaill & Sarah Howe

Rachael Wiseman & Deryn Rees-Jones

Rachael Wiseman & Deryn Rees-Jones

Christine Sypnowich & Helen Humphreys

Christine Sypnowich & Helen Humphreys

Jenny Judge & Laura Mullen

Jenny Judge & Laura Mullen

Greg McElwain, Diane Raptosh & Scott Knickerbocker

Greg McElwain, Diane Raptosh & Scott Knickerbocker

Istvan Zoltan Zardai & Yasuhiro Yotsumoto

Istvan Zoltan Zardai & Yasuhiro Yotsumoto

David MacArthur & Dave Musgrave

David MacArthur & Dave Musgrave

Jerome Dokic & Alexandre Billon

Jerome Dokic & Alexandre Billon

Mara-Daria Cojocaru & Ulrike Draesner

Mara-Daria Cojocaru & Ulrike Draesner

Danielle Petherbridge & Nerys Williams

Danielle Petherbridge & Nerys Williams

After its world voyage the Biscuit Tin will return to the Midgley Archive at Durham University in time for the Durham Book Festival. 

Durham Book Festival

The route

Project sponsors

More from In Parenthesis

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Iris Murdoch, An Post are releasing a commemorative stamp of this iconic Dublin-born philosopher and author. An Post have partnered with In Parenthesis to bring you Philosophy by Postcard, a public philosophy project introducing #slowphilosophy and celebrating Iris Murdoch.

Postcard and font by Deborah Bower

"My postcard channels the spirit of two friends – Iris Murdoch and Mary Midgley. I came up with the piece – which is also a downloadable font! - while researching in the Midgley Archives at Durham University. There were several letters in the archive that Iris had written to Mary discussing the goings-on of their daily lives and, of course, philosophy. I loved deciphering Iris' handwriting and the uniqueness of both their handwriting as they exchanged ideas."