Parsonage Unwrapped: The unexpected moccasins of Charlotte Brontë

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An exclusive after hours event

An exclusive after hours event


Buried amongst Charlotte Brontë’s surviving possessions are two curious objects – a pair of heavily-beaded moccasins and matching ankle cuffs. These unusual shoes are highly significant as they not only link Charlotte with newly emerging global markets but also silently connect us to one of the most poignant periods of the novelist’s life. Dress historian Eleanor Houghton will examine the component parts of the moccasins, their likely place of manufacture, the growth of transatlantic trade relations and the rise of the souvenir industry. Finally, we will discuss what might have drawn Charlotte Brontë to these culturally unfamiliar objects and the tremendous influence that they had upon her. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the moccasins up close in our research library,alongside other dress items worn by Charlotte and her sisters.

Eleanor Houghton is an academic, writer and illustrator who has worked as a costume consultant on To Walk Invisible and Gentleman Jack. Her PhD thesis, ‘Decoding Clothing: Charlotte Brontë, “Plainness” and the Language of Dress’, is a detailed and innovative interdisciplinary study which sheds new light on the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s collection of Brontë clothing.

Tickets £22.50/£20 concessions. Places are limited, so early booking is advised. Please book in advance by using the link on this page or by calling 01535 640192. Attendees are invited to join us from 7pm for a complimentary drink.
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