“From brains and hands through ink and paper, across the country and overseas, and sometimes translated into print, letters provided insight into the private worlds of the first celebrities," said Deputy Director of Chawton House and Curator of Quills and Characters, Dr Kim Simpson. "From the mundane to the momentous, letters captured the everyday and changed the world. The mere act of writing a simple letter was often an international endeavour with quills imported from North America, ink components sourced from Aleppo and Sudan, and sealing wax from India. We write fewer letters now, yet Quills and Characters is a timely reminder of the need for connectivity in a digital world.”
Quills and Characters runs March 8 until September 3, 2023.
Inside Charlotte Brontë’s Wardrobe focuses on some of the remarkable garments and accessories worn by Charlotte Brontë featuring work by historian, writer and illustrator Dr Eleanor Houghton who captures Charlotte Brontë’s wardrobe in eight original illustrations These brightly coloured, fashionable, even exotic items boldly challenge the preconception that Brontë and her famous protagonist Jane Eyre were, at least in terms of dress, one and the same. Also on display are four original illustrations, created especially for Chawton House, depicting clothing worn by Jane and Cassandra Austen. These take their inspiration from fabrics found in Jane and Cassandra Austen’s quilt, made c.1811 and now held at Jane Austen’s House.