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'Unfit to Plead': The Troubled Life of Diana Bromley

Date and Time: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 19:00 – 21:00 BST



This free history talk will be held in the grand surroundings of St.John's, Hove. It is the public debut of some remarkable new research.


Part of the Curious Histories: Charity History Talks (Hove) collection by Curious Histories @ St. John's


In our second Curious Histories lecture, historian of post-war Britain, Dr Sara Hiorns, tells the disturbing story of Diana Bromley, the cultured and well-connected wife of a diplomat, whose life descended into psychosis and murder. After coming upon references to Diana Bromley by chance, Dr Hiorns has spent the past seven years piecing together a tale of extraordinary family secrets, imperial legacies, and the impact of mental illness on family and motherhood. In this fascinating public debut of her findings, she will explain how her meticulous research led her from Hollywood star Boris Karloff to Anna Leonowens, the inspiration for The King and I, then from Bletchley Park and the British diplomatic service to Broadmoor Hospital, via China, India, Iran and England's home counties.


St. John's church, by the floral clock in Hove, provides the handsome venue for the Curious Histories lecture series. All the events are free to attend, with a retiring collection for charity. Ample refreshment will be provided at our bijou donation bar, serving both alcoholic and soft drinks, which will take both cash and cards. Doors are at 7pm and the talk begins at approx. 7.30pm.



Please note that the lecture contains material and themes that may be unsuitable for under-14s.