Strawberry Hill House celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month with online talks

A historic gothic castle is hosting online sessions talking about LGBTQ+ history from the 18th century to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month.

Strawberry Hill House, based in Twickenham, aims to explore the house as well as people’s cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history by discussing sexuality and influential women from the era through online talks this month.

The house was once owned by Horace Walpole from 1747 to 1797, a pivotal figure in society, literature, art and architecture whose sexuality is much speculated.

Claire Leighton manager of programming at Strawberry Hill House said: “I think this is very important for the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves in history not just Strawberry Hill but everywhere.

“It is about revisiting history and giving these stories some consideration and space for these discussions.

“At the moment we are more accepting towards sexuality but history is not always linear.”

There will be three online talks lasting around an hour, each including speaker presentations and Q&A segments.

The talks topics include ‘Charlotte de Beaumont, Chevalière d’Eon: Being trans in the 18th century’, ‘Gothic Architecture and Sexuality’ and ‘Anne Damer’s Place in Queer History’.

Speakers will include Cheryl Morgan, an expert in transgender history, Matthew Reeve, Associate Professor of Art History at Queen’s University and Dr Caroline Gonda, Fellow and Director of Studies, St Catharine’s College Cambridge.

The talks were planned to be part of a larger celebration of LQBTQ+ History Month with an art installation by a young local artist and tours of the house but this has been postponed until Pride in June due to the pandemic.

The first talk begins tomorrow (17 February) at 7pm with the standard ticket price for adults at £8.00.

You can book tickets online here.

Featured image credit: Matt Chung

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