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|Ann Dinsdale, Collections Manger, Brontë Parsonage Museum|
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The Brontë Society presents new exhibition to mark the Battle of Waterloo
The Collections team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum are busy putting the final touches to a brand new exhibition timed to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Brontës, War and Waterloo explores the Brontë family’s fascination with war and how the bloody battles and heroic figureheads of the Napoleonic conflicts captivated and inspired the collective Brontë siblings.
Ann Dinsdale, Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum comments:
“Although the Napoleonic battles took place far from the moors of Yorkshire, the Brontës had access to military accounts in periodicals and newspapers. Their imaginations were fuelled by what they read and they recreated events with toy soldiers, transforming the Napoleonic campaigns into exciting fantasy sagas. This is an exciting exhibition which shows how this fascination with war and warfare continued into adulthood and influenced their writing.”
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The exhibition has been curated with the assistance of Brontë scholar Emma Butcher, who adds:
“The violent, masculine landscapes of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre can be traced back to the Brontës’ early engagement with militarism and warfare. It is our belief that this exhibition presents the work of the Brontë siblings in a new light and establishes them as significant post-war authors.”
Items displayed as part of the exhibition include a fragment of Napoleon’s coffin that was given to Charlotte Brontë while she was in Brussels, a letter to Patrick Brontë from the Duke of Wellington and a fragment from Charlotte Brontë’s History of the Year 1829 which recounts the moment when Branwell shows his new toy soldiers to his sisters.
The Brontës, War and Waterloo opens in the Bonnell Room at the Brontë Parsonage Museum on March 16. The current exhibition The Brontës and Animals will continue until March 12. Entrance to the exhibition is free with admission to the Museum.