Both celebratory and reflective, this captivating guide 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 Kingston Lacy in the South West and Ickworth in East Anglia, the Trust is exploring places that have been shaped by the sexuality of their inhabitants, workers, owners, and guests. This guide brings to light turbulent stories of exile and tragedy, tales of loving relationships and family, and sometimes challenging histories of public front and private expression.
Dr Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck University of London. He is a cultural historian specializing in the history of sexuality and the history of London in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 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.