Showcase of Bronte author’s life will highlight connection to Padiham

Charlotte Bronte (s)

Charlotte Bronte (s)

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An exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of our best known author’s birth will go on display in Padiham in June.

The Literary Lions exhibition will feature Charlotte Bronte and will be at Gawthorpe Hall from this Saturday (June 18th) until Sunday October 30th.

The display showcases the effect that the Jane Eyre author’s friendships, especially with Elizabeth Gaskell, and her visits to Gawthorpe Hall staying with the Kay-Shuttleworth family had on her literary legacy.

The social importance assigned to Charlotte and to Elizabeth Gaskell, by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, will also be illustrated. Some of the objects featured in the exhibition have been loaned from the Bronte Parsonage Museum including personal effects owned by Charlotte.

An original letter written by Charlotte to Janet Kay-Shuttleworth, after her first stay at Gawthorpe Hall, is also on display. This has rarely been on public display previously.

Other items include period costume dress from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. The exhibition also looks at what Padiham would have been like when Charlotte visited. A pharmacy book from the 1830s, with prescriptions for the Kay-Shuttleworth family, is also on display. This has never been on public display previously.

County Coun. Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “We know that Charlotte stayed at Gawthorpe Hall twice, and the exhibition will bring out the connection between Charlotte, Elizabeth and the powerful Kay-Shuttleworth family.

“Visitors will be able to gain an insight into what the hall would have been like when Charlotte visited, and also what Charlotte felt about her visits and the adulation she received from Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth.

“Anyone interested in the Bronte’s and their legacy, and also British literature, will find this really interesting.”

For more information and to book tickets telephone 01282 771004 or email gawthorpehall@lancashire.gov.uk.