London’s With Love Exhibition Opens on Valentine’s Day

Credit: Crown Copyright, Courtesy of The National Archives

The National Archives in London celebrates Valentine’s Day with a new exhibition called With Love. Highlights include the will of Anne Lister, the early nineteenth-century lesbian entrepreneur and diarist whose life has recently been dramatized in the popular BBC-HBO television drama Gentleman Jack.

Using 500 years of love letters, the exhibition also looks at lovers divided by geography including love letters sent to William Crawford, a soldier who died in the First World War from his sweetheart ‘Hetty’ (including a birthday card, pictured above).

A special preview on February 13 includes free exhibition tours and an interactive pop-up letterpress studio run by Simon Trewin of The Garage Press print shop in Brixton. Other events in conjunction with the display include two talks: "Hidden Love? LGBTQ+ lives in the archives" on February 20, and "Victoria and Albert: myth and reality" on March 19.

With Love runs February 14 to July 5, 2020. Free entry to exhibition but talks require tickets.