M Shed, part of Bristol Museums, is celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month in February with four free events. As part of that series I’ll be talking to Cheryl Morgan on 16th February at 7pm UK time (11 am West Coast). We’ll talk about sexuality and gender in seventh-century Britain—and in Roman Britain—and how Christianity did and did not have an impact on Hild and her people’s attitudes. It’s free, and it’s on Zoom. I hope you drop in and ask a question or two—seriously, ask questions! I love to answer questions! And hey, maybe I’ll talk a bit about Menewood, too. Register here.
About the event
Saint Hilda of Whitby is a key figure in the history of Christianity in early Britain. Born into a royal family in Northumbria in 614 CE, Hilda entered the church and founded Whitby Abbey.
There she hosted the Synod of Whitby, in which clergy from the British and Roman branches of the Christian Church met to debate the then disputed question of how to calculate the date of Easter.
In her historical novel, Hild, based on the early life of the saint, award-winning novelist Nicola Griffith chose to make her heroine bisexual.
In this event, Griffith will be in conversation with historian, Cheryl Morgan. They will talk about the research underpinning the novel, and how we understand ideas of sexuality and gender in the ancient and early-medieval world.
They will address the perils of assuming a linear progression of attitudes from the past to the present day—tolerance is not a purely 21st-century characteristic.
Nicola Griffith grew up in Yorkshire, but now lives in Seattle with her wife and fellow writer, Kelley Eskridge. Griffith has a successful career in writing novels and memoir, and editing anthologies of original queer fiction. She has won multiple awards, including six from the Lambda Literary Foundation for books with LGBTQ+ themes.
Speaker: Nicola Griffith, award-winning novelist, in conversation with Cheryl Morgan, historian and co-chair of Outstories Bristol
How to Register
When: 16th February, 7pm UK time (11 am Pacific)
How: Register here