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 take part
This free, online talk will be held over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Bookings close at 2pm on Tuesday 16 February.
Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.
Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings. Please allow extra time before the talk begins to make sure everything is working correctly. It’s up to you whether you turn on your video but all guests will be muted once the talk begins. You are welcome to ask questions in the chat box throughout the talk.
With thanks to our Equality and Diversity programme sponsor: UWE Bristol.