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Historian & A Movie: Belle


In 1779, Lady Elizabeth Murray and her cousin, Dido Elizabeth Belle, sat for their portrait. An unremarkable event but for one detail: Dido’s heritage. The illegitimate daughter of a British naval captain and an enslaved woman, Dido was sent to England upon the death of her mother. There, she was raised free in an aristocratic household with her cousin Elizabeth. “Belle” (2013, 104 mins, PG) is a fictionalized account of the real Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, following Belle as she struggles to find acceptance and love in White British society. Aaron Robinson, site manager of Senate House State Historic Site, and Michael Lord, site manager of Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site will share details of what happened to the real Belle, the history of slavery in the British Empire, and what the film gets right and wrong. “Belle” is rated PG and is suitable for families. Registration is recommended, but not required. Register at www.philipsemanorhall.com/programs-and-events

Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site
  • 29 Warburton Ave.
  • Yonkers, NY 10701-8819