Balloonomania Belles - An Illustrated Talk by Sharon Wright

Talk Heritage

Presented by The Friends of Southwark Cathedral

Award-winning journalist, Sharon Wright, has recently published a book revealing the hair-raising adventures of the feisty female ballooning heroines of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many of these early flights began here in Southwark. Sharon will give an illustrated talk revealing the astonishing stories of the fabulous female pioneers of balloon flight.

“More than a century before the first aeroplane women were heading for the heavens in crazy, inspired contraptions that could bring death or glory and all too often, both. Women were in the vanguard of the Balloonomania craze that took hold in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and swept across Europe then the world. Their exploits were a vital element of our first voyages into the sky. When women’s options were often severely limited by law and convention they managed to join the exhilarating quest for spectacle, adventure and danger among the clouds.

Many of the brightest stars of this extraordinary era of human flight were women. From the perilous ascent in 1784 by feisty French teenager Elisabeth Thible, female aeronauts have never looked back or down. Who were these brave women who took to the air when it was such an incredibly dangerous and scandalous thing to do?”

A light lunch will be served after the talk. This promises to be an enlightening and light-hearted look at an unusual topic – Sharon is entertaining and passionate about her subject and there will be certainly be some laughs.