2nd October 2024 – Fashion, Feathers and Fury: Women’s Fight for Change

Wednesday 2nd October 2024

Fashion, Feathers and Fury: Women’s Fight for Change

Lecturer: Tessa Boase

When social historian Tessa Boase told the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds that she wanted to write their early story, they refused to let her visit their archives. To a former investigative journalist, this was a challenge she could not resist. This lecture will shine a light on the intriguing story of women’s love affair with plumage, at a time when every woman of every class wore a hat, and that of the brave eco-feminists who fought back on behalf of the birds.

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Tessa Boase is a freelance journalist, lecturer and campaigner with an interest in uncovering the stories of invisible women in the 19th and early 20th centuries. She’s the author of three books of social history: Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved the Birds (first published as Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather in 2018), The Housekeeper’s Tale: The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House (2014) and London’s Lost Department Stores: A Vanished World of Dazzle and Dreams (2022). Since uncovering the feminist origins of the RSPB, she has been campaigning for public recognition of its female founders.

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