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Prices Between FREE to £8.00 Charlotte de Beaumont, Chevalière d'Eon:  Being trans in the 18th century Charlotte de Beaumont, Chevalière d'Eon: Being trans in the 18th century As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history...

As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history during the long 18th century. 

Charlotte de Beaumont, Chevalière d'Eon: Being trans in the 18th century - Presented by Cheryl Morgan

Wednesday 17th February at 7pm

By any measure, Charlotte de Beaumont, Chevalière d'Eon, had a remarkable life. According to her biography she had been a diplomat, spy and calvary officer in the service of the French Crown. In her retirement in London, she became a professional swordfighter and a feminist. She was known to intellectuals such as Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft, and her true gender was the subject of considerable wagers. Death has not slowed her down. She has given her name to the Beaumont Society, Britain’s oldest support organisation for trans women and cross-dressers. She has even become the star of a Japanese anime series. In this talk, Cheryl Morgan will delve into the story of this trans celebrity and compare the experience of being trans in the 18th Century to today.

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Prices Between FREE to £8.00 Gothic Architecture and Sexuality Gothic Architecture and Sexuality As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history...

As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history during the long 18th century. 

Gothic Architecture and Sexuality - Matthew Reeve

Thursday 18th February 7pm

How do we begin to understand the place of sexuality in a building like Strawberry Hill? We look in vain for imagery that might appear "queer" to us but find little of it. Many have tried to impose modern homosexual ideas (such as camp and the closet) upon the building, but these attempts have been unsuccessful for one simple but fundamental reason: the sexual world of eighteenth-century England was tremendously different from that of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

But another pitfall is offered by the very structure of art history itself: understood within the British tradition as an "objective" form of taxonomy which sequences styles and objects, the subjective engagement of the individual with the art object that s/he chooses, buys, loves, and displays is erased from taxonomic structures in which it has no place. Engaging with aesthetic and social constructions of sexuality demands engaging with a new logic, and, to some extent, with a new art history.

This brief talk, based on the author's recent book, will begin to explore this logic. To do so, I will start by taking Walpole seriously as a commentator and analyze the language that he and his circle used to describe themselves and their art patronage, which leads to a consideration of a few of their more significant buildings and objects.

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Prices Between FREE to £8.00 Anne Damer’s Place in Queer History Anne Damer’s Place in Queer History As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history...

As part of LGBTQ+ History month, Strawberry Hill House hosts a series of online talks which explore the House, its occupants and our cultural understanding of LGBTQ+ history during the long 18th century. 

Anne Damer’s Place in Queer History - Caroline Gonda

Wednesday 24th February 7pm

Anne Seymour Damer (1748- or 1749-1828) found fame in her lifetime as a sculptor, an extremely unusual occupation for a woman in the eighteenth century. Horace Walpole, her godfather, proudly displayed her sculptures as part of his celebrated collection at Strawberry Hill, and left her the house and its contents in his will.  Damer also had a public reputation as a Sapphist, an eighteenth-century term for a woman who has sexual relations with other women. In this talk for LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Caroline Gonda explores Anne Damer’s place in queer history, including the queer history of Strawberry Hill.

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