To celebrate the 200th anniversary since the birth of Charlotte Bronte, Sir John Soane’s Museum will mark the occasion with a special exhibition, celebrating the author’s life.
The exhibition will feature a number of treasures, including sketches of the Bronte sisters that were recently discovered drawn by their sister Anne and going on public display for the very first time.
Although Bronte lived most of her life in obscurity in Yorkshire, following the success of Jane Eyre, she did make five trips down to London to visit her publisher between 1848 and 1851. Curator Charlotte Cory uses these visits to imagine a visit by the author to Sir John Soaneʼs Museum.
As an artist and writer, Charlotte Cory uses the links between Brontë and Soane to build a fun and witty scenario for the exhibition.
While there is no evidence to support that the author ever visited the museum, the exhibition will attempt to recreate what she would have seen and experienced if she had.
Curator Charlotte Cory said: “The exhibition is fun but informative, touching and thought-provoking, and what is wonderful is that the Museum is exactly the same today as when she could have visited it. When you walk through the Soaneʼs front door you might as well be Charlotte Bronte back in 1850.”
Meanwhile Xanthe Arvanitakis, Operations and Commercial Director at Sir John Soaneʼs Museum, says: “The Soane is uniquely placed to tell the story of Brontëʼs visits to the capital, being one of the very few places in her guidebook to be the same today as in the mid-19th century. So not only are we bringing Charlotte Brontë to the Museum for the first time, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the Soaneʼs position on Londonʼs tourist trail – frozen in time – for the past 180 years.”
It has also been announced that on April 21st (the author’s birthday), the Soane will lead a unique public participation live reading event across the capital. Inspired by the famous plinths in Trafalgar square: a ʻmobileʼ Fifth Plinth will host readings of Brontëʼs novels at various locations including the Soane, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Library.
Charlotte Bronte at the Soane will run from the 15th March until the 7th May 2016. Entrance to the exhibition is free.