Lunchtime Lecture: Bird Hats and Murderous Millinery

Join expert curators and inspiring speakers for our free weekly lunchtime lectures

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Hochhauser Auditorium

  • Free event

Whole birds, half birds and birds’ wings decorate dozens of hats held in the V&A’s fashion archives – evidence of a craze that gripped women for half a century, from the 1870s to the 1920s. Campaigning on behalf of the birds was a spirited Victorian woman who has not been remembered by history. Her name was Etta Lemon, her society was the RSPB, and her aim was simple. She was going to stamp out the fashion for feathers in hats. Join social historian Tessa Boase to hear the intriguing untold story of women, birds, hats – and votes. 

Tessa will be signing copies of her new book, 'Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Fetaher: Fashion, Fury and Feminism, Women's Fight for Change' after her talk.

Image Credit: Puck, an American magazine, 1911

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