Research into Honor Balfour’s career as a journalist continues to yield rewards. It was against the backdrop of the early rivalry between the BBC Talks and News Departments that Honor forged her contribution to broadcasting which would span over the next three decades. The research continues but with the emphasis now firmly on Honor Balfour’s role as arguably the first significant woman current affairs commentator in broadcasting.
Posts Categorized: Projects
I always believed Honor Balfour (1912-2001) was too modest about her life but even so I’ve been blown away by discovering the extent and range of her broadcasting career…
‘A home should be the centre of a woman’s life, not its boundary’ (Irene Ward).
Inspired by the depth and breadth of the Astors’ archive at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading, my current project focuses on Waldorf and Nancy Astor’s years at Cliveden and some of the less familiar stories.
February 2016 brought an invitation to return to an old favourite topic: houses and gardens with modern political associations. Discussions with a potential publisher updated the list of properties to be considered. Hughenden, Cliveden, The Wharf, Garsington, Trent Park and Port Lympne; Chartwell, Wallington, Sissinghurst, Birch Grove House, The Manor House, Hell Corner Farm, and… Read more »
“A big, cream and white wooden structure shaped like a giant flower pedestal but with a human-size door was utterly intriguing.”
2015 brings… a lecture on Irene Ward MP, a paper on Disraeli to the Oxford University TORCH symposium and plans for a seminar series marking the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations.
Seminars curated whilst at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, included the ‘Authorship, Memory & Manuscripts’ series, which ran from 2010 to 2014.
This research returns to the topic of gardens as ‘living documents’. It uses the orangery at Trent Park, Enfield as the starting point for an exploration of the gardens created by Sir Philip Sassoon (1888-1939). The two gardens examined (Port Lympne, Kent being the second) are ‘living documents’; cultural landscapes connected to the worlds of politics, the arts, and design and significant meetings in both world wars.
Helen has long been interested in the history of orangeries, and so was delighted to act as one of the advisers on the re-instatement of the orangery at Knole Park in late 2009/early 2010. The position brought unexpected archival dividends for her research into historic orangeries, and prompted further research using the sketch books and diaries of Sir George Scharf as a manuscript source. This article gives a first outline of some of her findings.