The University of Aberdeen Museums & Special Collections is delighted to welcome academic and activist Zoë Playdon to talk about her publication The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes – a local story with international resonance – as part of this year's Book Week Scotland.
Ewan Forbes was born Elisabeth Forbes in 1912 to a wealthy Aberdeenshire family. From a very early age, it was clear to him that the gender applied at birth was not correct. Forbes began to seek specialist help and with the family's financial means, was able to procure synthetic hormones to enable him to live as a boy. In early adulthood he was able to correct the sex on his birth certificate in order to marry. But in 1965, when his elder brother died, Ewan's inheritance of the family baronetcy was contested by a cousin on the grounds that this could only pass to a male heir.
This talk will outline the extraordinary court case that ensued and how the author uncovered records that for many years had been deemed too controversial for public view.
Described by The Independent as "One of the most important pieces of investigative journalism ever written about trans people", come along to hear more about how Zoë Playdon's research revealed this hidden history.
The Sir Duncan Rice Library
Old Aberdeen Campus