Penny Rainbow – Lectures

Since publishing “A Complete History of The Tower of Esher – a William Wayneflete Landmark” in 2010, Penny Rainbow has been giving powerpoint presentations to local societies and groups, including Probus, University of the Third Age (U3A) and the Women’s Institute. The talks are specifically related to the Tower, its history and residents. The presentations are bespoke and can be tailored to suit an individual group’s requirements. Additionally, Penny also gives talks on William Kent and Lady Helen D’Abernon and as of 2014 Penny will happily consider bespoke tours and or talks at her home, Wayneflete Tower. Simply click on contact at the bottom of the page.

William Kent was an extraordinarily versatile designer, who is perhaps best remembered for his contribution to Neo-Palladian architecture, but he was also the originator of the Gothic Revival and the founder of romantic naturalistic landscape gardening in England. Kent led a revolution that saw architecture, interior design and the English landscape transformed and it started in Esher. Penny’s presentation on William Kent aims to firmly establish the architectural and historical significance of his commission for Henry Pelham at Esher.

Lady Helen D’Abernon was described by Lutyens as “a lovely Easter egg with nothing inside, terribly dilettante and altogether superficial,” whilst the Aga Khan described her as “the most beautiful woman I ever knew, utterly unspoilt, simple, selfless, gay, brave and kind.” Penny’s presentation challenges Lutyens’ impression of Lady Helen and establishes her double life, which is set primarily against the backdrop of the First World War.