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Charlotte Brontë at the Soane
curated by Charlotte Cory
Sir John Soane's Museum
15 Mar 2016 to 07 May 2016
Celebrate 200 years since the birth of one of Britain’s best loved writers, in our imaginative and fascinating new display which includes some of Charlotte Brontë’s treasured possessions.
Born in 1816 Brontë lived most of her life in obscurity in Yorkshire, but following the meteoric success of Jane Eyre in 1847, she made five trips to London to see her publisher. These trips are the foundation of this small display, curated by artist Charlotte Cory, who brings together an incredible selection of objects: from the personal effects Brontë brought with her - on loan to us from the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire - to Cory’s own artworks inspired by these five visits to the capital.
On display is the guidebook Brontë used to explore the city - featuring Sir John Soane’s Museum - and a dress that she wore to a dinner with her publisher; the first time the dress has returned to London since she wore it. We will also display newly discovered sketches of the Brontë sisters, drawn by their sister Anne, which have never been seen in public before.
Although Charlotte Brontë’s busy itinerary meant that she didn’t make it to the Museum, despite sharing Soane’s love of Napoleonica and fine art, we are one of the few places in her guidebook to remain the same today as on her visits in the 1840s and '50s. This show is therefore a unique opportunity to bring Brontë to the Museum for the first time, and to reflect on the Soane’s position on London’s tourist trail – frozen in time – for the past 180 years.
Join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Friday 18 March with an evening of cocktails, candlelight and live-readings of Jane Eyre. Book your tickets.