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The Royal Oak Foundation is the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our members enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of historic houses and gardens owned by National Trust and invitations to British-themed events nationwide here in the U.S.

To learn more about us, visit https://www.royal-oak.org/

Join today using code MEETUP2019 and receive 20% off your membership.

Upcoming events (3)

Churchill: The Statesman as Artist

General Society's Library

USE CODE MEET2019 for ticket discounts. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.royal-oak.org/events/2019-spring-nyc-churchill-the-statesman-as-artist/ Reception following the lecture. Over 50 years Winston Churchill produced more than 500 paintings of his family homes at Blenheim and Chartwell, evocative scenes on the French Riviera and Marrakesh, as well as still lifes—plus an extraordinarily revealing self-portrait, painted during a particularly troubled time in his life. During peace and periods of war, Churchill painted as his primary means of relaxation from the strain of public affairs. In his lecture, which is based on his book, Churchill: The Statesman as Artist, British author and historian Sir David Cannadine will provide the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art. He will cover every aspect of Churchill as an artist, and discuss what his art meant to him. Painting was not just a private hobby for Churchill, but from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame. We will learn about Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, including his essay, Painting as a Pastime, and his addresses to the Royal Academy, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937. Sir David Cannadine will then discuss heretofore uncollected critical accounts of his work by some of Churchill’s contemporaries, such as Welsh painter Augustus John, Sir John Rothenstein, Professor Thomas Bodkin and the art critic Eric Newton. Sir David Cannadine will reveal Churchill the artist more fully than ever before, as we understand how painting helped banish his “black dog” and gave his life outside politics meaning and value.

‘Murderous Millinery’: Fashion and the Fight for Suffrage

General Society's Library

USE CODE MEET2019 for ticket discounts. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.royal-oak.org/events/2019-spring-nyc-murderous-millinery/ Reception following the lecture. A decade before the suffragette movement began dominating headlines, a very different women’s campaign captured the public imagination in both England and America. Its aim was simple—to stamp out the cruel fashion for feathers in hats. For half a century, from the 1870s to 1920s, wild bird species were slaughtered around the world for the millinery trade in one of the most lucrative commodity markets on earth. The feather fight—fought on both sides of the Atlantic—was bitter, vicious and unsisterly. On the side of God’s creatures was the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (chartered in 1904), led by the vehement anti-suffragette Etta Lemon. In the opposite camp, fighting for women’s rights, Emmeline Pankhurst urged her followers to use fashionable plumage to further their cause. Wearers of the ‘bird hat’—all too often Suffragettes—were attacked by the bird protection lobby as narcissists and slaughterers. Edwardian fashion victims hit back, calling their female attackers ‘plumage cranks’ and ‘frothy fanatics.’ Behind this feather fight was a trade worth around £204 million, entirely supported by exploited female labor—milliners, feather washers, child willowers of ostrich plumes. Historian and author Tessa Boase will weave together the inspiring stories of two difficult, passionate Edwardian women, with opposite aims and convictions, both determined to start a revolution. She will expose the workings of the predatory plumage trade and the devastation it wrought upon migratory birds around the world. And she will shine a light on the fascinating back story of Mrs. Pankhurst’s elegant purple hat feathers, linking such murderous millinery to the subsequent passage of the 1918 Migratory Bird Act Treaty in America—legislation that put a swift end to the hunting of birds for the feather trade.

‘My Darling Winston’: The Letters Between Winston Churchill and His Mother

USE CODE MEET2019 for ticket discounts. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.royal-oak.org/events/2019-spring-nyc-my-darling-winston/ Reception following the lecture. “My pen wanders recklessly,” wrote Winston Churchill of the sparkling letters he exchanged with his mother, Jennie Jerome, over a period of 40 years. David Lough’s lecture, based on the first-ever edited selection of their correspondence, sheds new light on Churchill’s early emotional, intellectual and political development. Spanning from 1881 to1921, these missives follow Churchill’s life of adventure and political ambition, covering many milestones: his army service in India, time as a prisoner of war, election to Parliament, resignation after Gallipoli, and his return to politics in 1917. His mother’s life, by contrast, follows a downward spiral: her second marriage founders and she becomes a lonely figure, moving forlornly around the country homes of her wealthy friends. Their letters disclose an intense relationship between a demanding mother and a difficult son, both gifted writers who reveal much about themselves and the time period. Churchill’s missives reveal his personality as a young child and a truculent teen, looking to his mother to fix everything—which she usually did. Jerome’s letters reveal a dynamic woman leveraging limited agency in a sexist society. Brimming with gossip, name-dropping and chutzpah, and populated by an impressive cast of late Victorian and Edwardian characters, Mr. Lough’s lecture will enrich our understanding of Britain’s most celebrated statesman. He will offer poignant insights into Churchill’s relationship with the woman whose advice and loving encouragement set him on the path to power.

Past events (4)

Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household

General Society's Library

Photos (18)