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Arts Society Cardiff: Virtual Lecture

Arts Society Cardiff: Virtual Lecture

Thu 13 May

Please note that if you are an Art Society Cardiff member this lecture is FREE and no need to book. You will be sent a link to join the event via your membership mailing list.


About May's lecture 

Tessa Boase: The Housekeeper’s Tale: The Women Who Really Ran The English Country House.

In the next in our series of virtual Arts Society lectures, Tessa Boase discusses the fascinating history of Grace Higgens, who joined the unconventional Bell household as a housemaid aged 15 and for the next fifty years propped up the ’Bloomsbury Set’ in London and at Charleston. Vanessa Bell (painter and interior designer and sister of Virginia Woolf) couldn’t live without her housekeeper’s cooking or her regular posing as an artist’s model. Woolf tried to poach her for her baking. Grace’s candid diaries paint a picture of bohemia rather different to the official narrative.

The lecture will last approximately 1 hour with a short Q&A afterwards.


About Tessa Boase

Tessa is a freelance lecturer for The Arts Society along with other organisations such as the V&A, English Heritage and the National Trust. She’s the author of two books of social history: The Housekeeper’s Tale – The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House, and Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather – Fashion, Fury and Feminism, Women’s Fight for Change. Her interest lies in uncovering stories of the invisible women of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, revealing how they drove industry, propped up high society and manipulated politics. Tessa has an MA in English Literature from Oxford University, a diploma in Art History from the British Institute of Florence and has enjoyed a long career in journalism for national newspapers and magazines. 


About The Arts Society Cardiff

The Arts Society Cardiff has been meeting regularly at Chapter for many years via their popular illustrated lectures series with knowledgeable and entertaining speakers. Alongside these, they also offer study day events, educational visits and cultural holidays that aim to bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts. You can find out more and join the society here.



Free for members, £5 for non-members

Please note that if you are an Art Society Cardiff member this lecture is FREE and no need to book. You'll be sent a link to join the event via your membership mailing list. 

For non-members, tickets cost £5. You'll be emailed details on how to join the Zoom call on the day of the event. Please make sure to check your junk/spam folder. For queries, please email ticketing@chapter.org

Tickets on sale until 1hr prior to event start time

Ticket & Times

  • Thu 13 May , 2:00 PM