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Prejudice & Pride

Prejudice & Pride

£5.00

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Both celebratory and reflective, this captivating guidebook sheds light on the LGBTQ heritage of many National Trust people and places. It commemorates figures such as Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, owners of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, but also delves into the lives of lesser-known individuals associated with Trust landscapes and collections, such as William Bankes, who fled from his home at Kingston Lacy to avoid prosecution for homosexuality, and lived abroad for the last 15 years of his life.

 

From Smallhythe, Monk’s House and Nymans in the South East, to Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland and Ickworth in Suffolk, the Trust is exploring places that have been touched and shaped by the sexuality of their inhabitants, workers, owners and guests. This guidebook will bring to light turbulent stories of exile and tragedy, tales of loving relationships and family, and sometimes challenging histories of public front and private expression.

About the authors

Alison Oram is Professor in the School of Cultural Studies & Humanities at Leeds Beckett University. Her fields of research include how the themes of sexuality and the family appear in public history, primarily historic houses.

Dr Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck University of London. He is a cultural historian specialising in the history of sexuality and the history of London in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Dimensions: 210 x 210mm

Format: Paperback

Extent: 60 pages

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4 Average Rating 4/5 (3 reviews)
4 stars Heartwarming & challenging Written by

Well done to the National Trust for its prejudice and pride programme and for publishing this booklet! It was lovely to read about the contributions of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people to our national culture and heritage and to read their back-stories and understand afresh the challenges they faced and how astonishingly far we as a nation have progressed in the last 50 years. I confess that I struggle with the use of the term "queer", which the authors use a lot. I know that it is being adopted as a catch-all word in academic circles - but I always read it as a homophobic stab, an act of verbal violence. It seems odd to dismiss the terms 'gay' and 'homosexual' as modern identities while adopting the word 'queer' as an alternative identity. The use of the word queer in this context seems, to me, to be an equally modern invention: Did the people included in the booklet describe themselves as queer? Moreover it is a word that lacks the merit of emotional neutrality. That quibble over language aside, a lovely book.

4 stars Prelude to the future Written by

My husband and I have been members of the Trust practically since we met nearly thirty years ago and we became life members to celebrate his 60th birthday some years ago. I'll never forget the day we first signed up - the lady signing us up said "so that's two adults at the same address, then?". In 1989, that acceptance was as near to being married as was possible. It's true that some members might want history to be written in the way they see the world - ironic that they'd rather see tales of war rather than of love. I've always longed for our LGBTQ history to be acknowledged by the Trust and hope that this will be the springboard for even more recognition of what actually happened in the Trust's properties, rather than brushing things under the carpet. It would be nice to see these stories make it into the main brochure and I very much look forward to reading another in this series which I hope will happen sooner rather than having to wait another 50 years. But it's a great start.

4 stars LGBTQ heritage: too little too soon? Written by

An interesting guide which, taken with the complementary podcast series and on-site literature sheds light on a piece of our country's history and heritage often ignored. As the guide points out much of this history has been lost as a result of the need for discretion, so I hope, in future, this information can be included in the mainstream literature, so that people do not have to refer to a specialised guide to find out about it. I would suggest that a useful addition to the guide would be an index, ordered by property, of the LGBTQ people associated with each location. A few weeks ago I was on a bus at the front of the London Pride parade. A fellow traveller was surprised to see NT represented in the parade. I was very happy to tell him about this campaign to highlight LGBTQ contributions to our heritage. Since then I have been saddened to read that recognition of LGBTQ people has become optional for NT volunteers. May I suggest that volunteers who are uncomfortable dealing with LGBTQ people should have the option of wearing a discreet badge so that LGBTQ people can avoid them, thus minimising any further distress.

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