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Trudy Howson.

The Smallhythe Trio

Lesbians. Suffragettes. Dramatists. L.G.B.T. Poet Laureate Trudy Howson explores, through poetry and prose, the Smallhythe Trio: Edith Craig, Christopher St John and Clare Atwood.

This exploration draws on Smallhythe’s unique archive material about their unconventional lives and relationships, and is illuminated by the current exhibition on show in Smallhythe’s Summer House.

Using poetry of the period and her own work, Trudy will explore the similar and contrasting experiences of women then and now. Compare the lives and perspective of these extraordinary three women with that of their contemporary lesbian counterparts

Followed by an informal Question & Answer with the audience and Susannah Mayor (House Steward of Smallhythe Place) and Carla Danella (curator of the current L.G.B.T. exhibition).

The Smallhythe Trio

Edy, Christopher and Tony

Lived unconventional lives.

Known as the Smallhythe trio…

Women, workmates and wives.


They rejected the traditional template

Of how a woman should be.

Wore trousers, wrote plays, were independent,

Fought for women’s equality.


Edy was a devoted daughter.

Her mother the actress Ellen Terry,

Whose home is now a museum

Enjoyed by you and me.


The Trio set the benchmark

Of what a woman could achieve,

They threw away the corset

Of society’s expectation and need.


by Trudy Howson L.G.B.T. Poet Laureate

Trudy Howson’s poetry explores the landscape (internal and external) of the LGBT+ Community. Appointed L.G.B.T. Poet Laureate 2016-19.

Susannah Mayor has been employed by Smallhythe Place for twelve years, overseeing conservation of the permanent collection.

Carla Danella is a National Trust volunteer whose MA thesis is on Christopher St John.

The Smallhythe Trio: Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 June at The Barn, Smallhythe Place, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG (01580 762334).

Posted 05:57 Saturday, May 27, 2017 In: Poetry

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