Next month a new exhibition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë will open at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Born on April 21st 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 from 1848 to 1851 to see her publisher. It is these trips that are the inspiration behind the museum’s newest exhibition, Charlotte Brontë at the Soane.
Featuring an incredible selection of treasures, exhibits will include newly discovered sketches of the Brontë sisters by their sister Anne – on display to the public for the first time – the minuscule account book in which Charlotte Brontë noted down all the expenses of her visits to London, and the dress she wore when taking trips to the city.
Despite there being no evidence to suggest Charlotte Brontë visited the museum, artist and writer Charlotte Cory has used the links between Brontë and Soane to build a fun and witty scenario for the exhibition, imagining what the author would have seen if she ever did visit, complete with a touch of wit and playful reverie. For example, Charlotte Brontë’s own London guidebook, featuring information on Sir John Soane’s Museum, will sit alongside one of Soane’s original visitors’ books from 1850, open on the dates that Brontë could have visited.
Charlotte Brontë at the Soane
Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP
15 March – 7 May 2016
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm