The Ladies of Llangollen

As we continue to celebrate LGBT History Month, Sarah Bentley explores the relationship between the two 18th century women known as the Ladies of Llangollen. 

“My dear Mrs Goddard I cannot paint our distress.
My dear Sally lept out of a Window last Night and is gone.
We learn Miss Butler of the castle is with her. I can say no more….
We are in the utmost distress and I am sure you pity us…”
– Lady Betty Fownes (from Elizabeth Mavor’s The Ladies of Llangollen)

“Sally” mentioned above was Sarah Ponsonby, an orphan, charge of her late father’s cousins, Sir William and Lady Betty Fownes. Miss Butler “of the castle” was Eleanor Butler: intellectual and passionate, with biting wit. At 29 she was asked to keep a friendly eye on Sarah who’d been placed at Miss Parke’s School near Kilkenny castle in 1768.

Eleanor made a big impact on teenage Sally. Continue reading


Transvengers: Youth Review & Interview

The Transvengers webcomic was created by a group of young trans people aged 13-19 from Gendered Intelligence and is featured in our Institute of Sexology exhibition. Find out more about the project on our website. This review and interview with one of the young people involved has been re-posted from the LGBTQ Arts and Culture Review.

Article originally posted on the LGBTQ Arts and Culture Review

The four sexologists featured in Transvengers.

The four sexologists featured in Transvengers.

Review: The Transvengers | by Harri

The Transvengers comic is an online comic created by a group of 13-19 year olds from Gendered Intelligence, it’s also on display at the Institute of Sexology exhibition. It’s an incredibly powerful piece of work, but also demonstrates a sharp sense of humour from its creators – we’d certainly recommend a read.  This week, LGBTQ Arts’ Harri wrote up some thoughts having read the comic, and also interviewed Shaun, one of the creators.

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X-Men Graphic Sex fold out

Graphic sex

Last week our Graphic Sex event offered a taste of sexuality, desire and disease in comics and graphic novels: from the ripped shirts of Doc Savage to Adam Hughes’ ‘Wonder Woman’ to gay marriage in ‘Astonishing X-Men’. The speaker, Stephen Lowther, tells us about some ways in which sex and sexuality have been represented in comics.

The humble comic book has evolved since its early days as a cheap, throwaway entertainment medium aimed squarely at children, whose images helped them to learn to read. Just as books, films and television cater to a wide audience and age ranges, so do 21st century comic books and graphic novels, as diverse today as they have ever been.

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Uncanny Mutations and Astonishing Mutants

X-Men: Days of Future Past is now in cinemas, billed as the most action packed and ambitious film in the X-Men saga. What better time to use the classic, long-running comic series as inspiration for a post about mutations whilst taking a look at some of the other aspects that make these superheroes more than just men in tights.

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