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Events At Fairfax House

Fairfax House in York

Eating with Victoria: A Greedy Queen
Friday 17 March 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Preview Lecture and Book Launch with Dr. Annie Gray.



Part of the 2017 York Literature Festival
Food historian Dr Annie Gray offers a new perspective on Britain’s best-known monarch, bringing her to (large) life through her food. Based on Annie’s forthcoming book, The Greedy Queen: Eating With Victoria (due for publication in May 2017), with new research into Queen Victoria’s menus, kitchens and cooks, this is a sort of culinary biography. Annie will guide us through Victoria’s life in food, as well as showing how her appetites shaped both her and the nation which she governed. Annie is the resident food historian on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and is specialist in 18thand 19th century British food and dining.

The event starts at 7.00pm, Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (019024) 655543

Map of York
★ For more information please visit: fairfaxhouse.co.uk
Emma Hamilton

Emma Hamilton
Wednesday 5 April 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
An Extraordinary and misrepresented life
With Quintin Colville, Curator, The National Maritime Museum

Emma Hamilton is usually remembered only as the scandalous mistress of Britain’s greatest naval hero, Horatio Nelson. This has, however, obscured one of the most remarkable female lives of the eighteenth century, marked by achievement, creativity and drama. Born into working-class poverty in 1765, Emma had gained European fame by her early twenties as a muse and performer. Her dizzying social ascent saw her marry the envoy to the court of Naples, Sir William Hamilton, and she became the close confidante of Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and Sicily. Culturally powerful and politically influential, Emma broke through boundaries to claim a place in the public sphere. At the same time, social convention, snobbery and financial dependence on men always left her in a precarious and vulnerable situation. Following the death of her great love, Nelson, Emma’s life spiraled towards destitution and tragedy.

Dr Quintin Colville is Curator of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum and curated the major exhibition now open at the museum: Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity.

The event starts at 7.00pm. Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by either visiting Fairfax House or callling (01904) 655543
Chocolate Orange

Terry and The Chocolate Orange
Friday 14 April 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
EASTER HOLIDAY'S STORYTELLING & DRAMA ACTIVITIES with Jenna Drury, Mud Pie Arts

Come and join us for the story of chocolate and the Terry family in York. Find out how chocolate became popular in the 18th century and how chocolate is made, from rainforest to factory. Bring your imagination to create your very own chocolate machine! Rich hot chocolate will be served to all chocolate workers!

The event starts at 5.00pm.
Tickets are Child £6.00, Adult £8.50, Family Ticket (1 adult and 2 children) £17.50.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543


Country Life and The Country House
Wednesday 19 April 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
With John Goodall, Country Life Architectural Editor

This year Country Life celebrates its 120th anniversary. In this lecture John Goodall considers the changing coverage of architecture in the magazine over this time as well as the evolution of the illustrated articles on country houses that have been a central feature of its editorial pages since the first issue. These cumulatively constitute the single greatest published survey of British architecture in existence, charting the changing face of the country house since the close of the 19th century. He will also consider the distinctive photographic tradition of photography developed by the magazine and the way in which it has shaped – and continues to shape – the modern presentation and interpretation of these buildings.

John Goodall

John Goodall is the architectural editor of Country Life, responsible for writing and commissioning the celebrated series of architectural features published in the magazine every week. He has written widely on the subject of architecture and his books include The English Castle (2011) and Parish Church Treasures (2015).

The event starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or Calling (01904) 655543


Made In York
5 May - 12 November 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Inventing & Enlightening the Georgian City.

Pioneering ideas, great inventions, ground-breaking discoveries, objects of beauty, innovation, artistry and craftsmanship and the people behind their creation….

These products of York’s age of Enlightenment are as rich as their impact is far-reaching. Made in York celebrates the wealth of this Georgian city’s inventive and enlightened output through the long eighteenth century (1670-1830).

York’s pages of history are strewn with astronomers, mathematicians, horologists and zoologists through to world-class scholars, celebrated painters, sculptors, architects and cabinetmakers. This is the story of those people who made this city a crucible for enlightened thought, intellectual creativity and a centre for exquisite craftsmanship throughout the Georgian age.

York nurtured some of the greatest names such as Grinling Gibbons, Thomas Chippendale, Laurence Sterne, John Goodricke, John Flaxman and Joseph Rose, leaders in each of their metiers. But behind these icons are some lesser-known pioneers; Made in York rediscovers their rich and eclectic legacy, and the rare objects and often forgotten triumphs that they have left for future generations.

For the first time, this landmark exhibition will be showcased throughout the townhouse, vividly animating both Fairfax House’s beautiful period rooms and its exhibition gallery.

Included in entry to Fairfax House (Exhibition Guide available separately).


Alphabet Soup: Made in Britain with 'Ad Hoc'
Saturday 27 May 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
A is for Thomas Arne, B is for Richard Rodney Bennett… E is for Sir Edward Elgar. An A to Z tour of composers of The British Isles from the past 800 years…

Ad Hoc returns with their customary eclectic mix of music, and invite you to share in an evening of alphabetical delights celebrating music Made in Britain.

Frances Brock, Sue Lindley and John Gill are joined by guests Rosy Jamieson, mezzo-soprano, and Alasdiar Jamieson, Bass and Keyboard.

The event starts at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and include a wine reception during the interval.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543.
Joanna Norman V&A

Storytelling Through Things and Spaces
Thursday 8 June 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Period Rooms at the V&A
With Joanna Norman, Deputy Head of Research, V&A

Historic interiors, known as ‘period rooms’, have been collected and displayed by museums since the late 19th century. Evocative, atmospheric spaces, they however pose constant challenges of authenticity, conservation and ethics to museums and visitors alike. This lecture (as part of the 2017 Festival of Ideas – The Story of Things) will explore the stories of period rooms and their challenges through the V&A’s 18th-century interiors, shown in the British Galleries and in the Europe 1600-1815 galleries which opened in 2015.

The event starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and include a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by either visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543


The Fall and Rise of English Wine
Wednesday 14 June 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Exploring Lord Fairfax's Cellar

Grapes have been grown and wine made in England since Roman times. A change in climate in the middle-ages and consequent drop in average temperature meant that except for a few vines grown in large hot-houses English wine production virtually ceased. However, in the 20th century a few hardy souls started to experiment with grape growing and wine production. Improvements in vineyard management and a greater understanding of wine making techniques, together with changes in climate, have resulted not only in many more vineyards and increased production but also in wines that can truly be classified as world class.

Richard Goodacre, an international wine judge and expert, will present a talk looking at the fascinating history of English wine together with a tasting of 6 quality English wines available these days.

The event starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £20.00 and includes 6 wine tastings.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543.


Recreating Jane Austin's Silk Pelisse-Coat
Friday 30 June 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
With Hilary Davidson

What did Jane Austen wear? The only known garment associated with the beloved author is a brown silk pelisse-coat in the collection of Hampshire Council. Like a detective story, a project to recreate the pelisse allowed a rich investigation into the history, context and physical qualities of the coat, and revealed new information about the object – and the wearer.

HILARY DAVIDSON is a dress and textile historian, formerly curator of fashion and decorative art at the Museum of London. She has researched Austen-age fashion for a decade and is currently completing a major book on dress in the British Regency world for Yale (2018).

The events starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543.
The Scandalous Lady Worsley
Thursday 6 July 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal & Divorce

In 1775 when a spirited young heiress from Harewood House married a handsome baronet with a promising career in government society believed their union would be the making of them; instead, it ended as one of the most salacious and highly publicised divorces in history. Hallie Rubenhold, the critically acclaimed author of Lady Worsley’s Whim, the book behind the BBC drama The Scandalous Lady W, will discuss the real Lady Worsley and the truth behind the events of her life.

Hallie Rubenhold

Hallie Rubenhold is an author, social historian, broadcaster and historical consultant for TV and film including Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, City of Vice and A Harlot’s Progress. She has a passion for telling a great historical tale and has a nose for unearthing previously unknown stories from little-known sources.

The event starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543.


Pictures of Perfection...Make Me Sick and Wicked
Friday 14 July 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
Jane Austen & reading for lies with Emma Major

As Austen wrote to her niece Fanny Knight, whose admirer had criticized the comportment of Austen’s heroines: ‘Pictures of Perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked’.
In this lecture, Dr. Emma Major looks at the ways in which Austen encourages us to be suspicious of perfection, and to become better readers of character. Indeed the case could be made that Austen’s fiction offers the reader a first-rate lesson in detective skills. As P.D. James points out, detective fiction ‘does not require a murder’ but ‘does require a mystery’ – and as we’ll see, Austen provides plenty of these, continuing to inspire crime fiction writers of today.

Dr. Major (University of York) investigates Austen’s lifelong fascination with letters to show how Austen uses them to teach her heroines to become better readers of flawed human nature.

The event starts at 7.00pm.
Tickets are £14.00 and includes a post-lecture wine reception.
Booking is recommended. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by visiting Fairfax House or calling (01904) 655543.
At Home with the Georgians
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 August 2017
Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
From chamber pots to silk stockings and ‘worms in the face’ to masquerade balls, those Georgians could be both exquisite and revolting in equal measure.

Meet them ‘at home’ with the Mannered Mob demonstrating many of the smaller details of everyday living, from the clothes people wore to the essential matters of work, play and … hygiene!

Free as part of admission to Fairfax House.

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