The exhibition “Sir Hudson Lowe on St Helena” opened on 14 April, the anniversary date of Sir Hudson Lowe’s arrival on St Helena. it takes place at Plantation House, former home of Sir Hudson and still today home to the governors of the island. The exhibition, which is the result of years of research by Michel Danscoinse-Martineau (director of the French Domains of St Helena), will remain open until 2021, year of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death on the island, and provides a fortunate opportunity to visit this official residence not normally open to the public.
In most of the ground-floor rooms, bilingual French/English panels have been arranged telling the story of Lowe’s tumultuous governorship. In addition to the thirteen or so descriptive panels, exhibition cases present period documents, original artefacts and images. Highlights include: a remarkable previously-unrecognised water-colour portrait of Hudson Lowe himself (only two images of the man are known today – one invented by purveyors of Hudson Lowe’s black legend, and the other the well-known formal, dress portrait, the whereabouts of which today are unknown); a previously-unknown image of Barry O’Meara from the Museo Napoleonico in Rome (the whereabouts of the other classic image of O’Meara, printed at the beginning of Napoleon in Exile, are similarly unknown today); Lowe’s double-sided desk; secretary Gorrequer’s bureau; two bookcases from Longwood on 100-year loan from the Arenenberg Museum in Switzerland; documents detailing the horse races and amateur dramatics arranged on the island during Napoleon’s exile there.
Opening hours are restricted to Wednesdays 1-3 pm and Fridays 1-3pm (the house remains the governor’s residence) and booking in advance is essential.
STHL 1ZZ, St Helena
Phone number : +290 24453
Web site (en anglais)