Skip to content
Skip to content

Queer Sissinghurst: Vita, Love and Identity

This free talk will explore the queerness of Vita Sackville-West's gender and sexuality, in the context of her life at Sissinghurst and beyond.

  • Booking essential

Join us for a fascinating talk led by Holly James Johnston about Vita, gender and sexuality.

Beginning with Vita's disinheritance from her beloved childhood home, Knole, due to her not having been born a boy, this talk looks at how this accident of birth set in motion a complex relationship with gender.

In turn, we will explore how the creation of Sissinghurst allowed Vita to heal the wound of her disinheritance of Knole, whilst celebrating how Vita and her husband Harold Nicolson lived a shared queer life on their own terms.

About Holly James Johnston: Holly is a writer, presenter, and performer, whose work brings art, history, and literature to audiences in thoughtful and creative ways. They have presented short films for Tate and The National Gallery, and recently created a queer history podcast series in the style of a road trip, titled Into That World Inverted.

Alongside their creative projects, Holly is currently reading for a DPhil in English at the University of Oxford. Holly also performs as a drag king under the name Orlando - an unruly dandy with foppish hair and a painted face.

This event is free but booking is essential due to limited seating.

Times

Prices

Event ticket prices

Ticket typeTicket category
All Free ticket£0.00

The basics

Booking details

Call 0334 249 1895

Suitability

Suitable for 12+

Meeting point

Please sign in at Visitor Reception.

Accessibility

This event will take place upstairs in the Oast Exhibition Space. Please note there are slightly uneven steps up to the venue and a hand rail.

Other

This event is free but booking is essential.

Contact info

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Upcoming events

Event

A Persian Paradise exhibition (Until 27 May) 

An immersive exhibition that reveals the travels and inspirations of Vita and Harold in 1920s Iran. Now extended up to and including 27 May.

Event summary

on
19 May to 27 May 2024
at
11:00 to 15:30
+ 8 other dates or times
Event

Dragonfly Trail - May Half Term 

Join us on a Dragonfly Trail for this Half Term’s Minibeast May!

Event summary

on
25 May to 2 Jun 2024
at
10:30 to 16:45
+ 8 other dates or times
Event

Meet the Sissinghurst Scholars 

Meet the Sissinghurst Scholars, offering a rare opportunity to engage with team members of one of England's most iconic gardens.

Event summary

on
29 May to 7 Aug 2024
at
14:00 to 15:00
+ 4 other dates or times
Event

Meet the Maker: Knots Wood Design 

Join us for live wood turning demonstrations at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. All wood used sustainably sourced from National Trust properties.

Event summary

on
30 May to 31 May 2024
at
12:00 to 16:00
+ 1 other date or time