Find an event near you in 2021
RSPB Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk – LIVE EVENT
Sunday 8 August, Signing 11am-4pm, 45 min TALK at 2pm in Welcome Hub
Titchwell Marsh has it all: woodland, scrub, reedbeds, freshwater and tidal lagoons, saltmarsh, sand dunes, beach and the open sea. I'll be spending the day at this iconic nature reserve - legacy of the RSPB's female founders - signing copies of 'Etta Lemon', chatting to visitors, and at 2pm giving a talk on the surprising story of Victorian eco feminism. Hear about the women who pushed back against the mighty plumage trade: their tactics, enemies and hard-won triumphs. Tickets £3-£10.
RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk – BOOK SIGNING
Monday 9 August, 1-4pm
Minsmere's coastal lagoons were once stalked by Victorian plumage hunters, supplying bird 'skins' to the insatiable millinery trade. Ladies thought nothing of wearing avocets, terns and gulls on their hats – the more species the better. Catch me at this glorious reserve (binoculars at the ready) signing copes of 'Etta Lemon – The Woman Who Saved the Birds'.
Hurst Festival, Sussex – LIVE EVENT
Monday 13 September, 7pm, New Inn, Hurstpierpoint
An evening talk about the unexpected frictions between animal rights and women's rights at the turn of the century: 'Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change.' Featuring feather workers, shop girls, eco activists, Edwardian fashionistas and furious suffragettes... A richly textured journey, backwards in time, to an era when every woman, of every class, wore a hat.
Guildford RSPB – LIVE EVENT
Wednesday 22 September, 7.30pm
Kicking off this new season for Guildford RSPB with the story of its forgotten female founders, and the redoubtable Mrs Lemon, MBOU (Etta was among the first four women to be accepted by this all-male institution, in 1909). Surrey was the nerve centre of the battle for the birds: Etta and Frank Lemon lived in Redhill, and fought passionately to save the surrounding countryside from urban spread.
Exeter R.A.M. Museum – VIRTUAL EVENT
Thursday 21 October, 7-8pm
Exeter Museum has an extraordinary collection of vintage feathered hats – or 'murderous millinery', as described by the RSPB's female founders... I'll be putting this long-dead look in context – social, political and economic – and telling its intriguing story. Worth the equivalent of £20m to Britain annually, it's no wonder Parliament dragged its feet over passing the 1921 Plumage Act and stopping trade.
Manchester Art Gallery
18 - 31 October 2021, daily
I'll be leading a series of events commemorating the eco activists who built the early RSPB: talks, workshops, youth engagement. Come and check out the four, beautiful bronze maquettes celebrating founder Emily Williamson: a last chance to vote for your favourite. Admire the three large portraits of those formidable Victorian women, drawn by Clare Abbatt, displayed for the first time. Inspire your children with a photographic exhibition of today's RSPB eco heroes at work. Dates and programme TBC.