While the Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival kicked off on Thursday, November 2, with the screening of BREATHE, our official launch event was Friday, November 3, with Small Worlds: Charleston Connections, an exploration of the very few degrees of separation between two of our British guests and our home base of Charleston, South Carolina.
The event began at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in the historic Ansonborough District. After an introduction by Virginia Nicholson, British Diplomat Charles Anson shared stories of his ancestor, Lord George Anson, a major player in colonial Charles Towne. Then Anson's wife, author and historian Juliet Nicolson, regaled the audience with poignant tales of Dawn Pepita Langley Simmons, the transgender daughter of Nicolson's grandparents' servants at Sissinghurst Castle, who took 1960s Charleston by storm.
Afterwards, guests retired to a reception with sandwiches and mimosas at the home of Tammy and Frank McCann. Located at 56 Society Street, their home in Ansonborough was another Charleston Connection to celebrate, as it was the home to none other than Dawn Pepita herself. While there, Edward Ball, author of Peninsula of Lies, shared his own tales of Dawn's interesting history, and guests mingled with speakers while sharing a cocktail and many, many laughs.