If you really wanted to watch me get really excited about something, you should see me at the museum of London. Initially I was excited for this excursion, I knew that we had plans to meet the curator for the Women’s Suffrage exhibit. What I didn’t know is exactly what we would be looking at and learning while we were there.
When we went to the back room with Beverly I was so impressed on how knowledgeable she was. It was truly impressive that she had met Tracy Chevalier and provided some of the historical facts for Falling Angels. She informed us that many people who have written books, or have made movies about the suffragette movement have contacted her for historical accuracy. Even though there were some inaccuracies within Falling Angels it is very impressive the amount of research that went into a book like that. To know that Tracy Chevalier was inspired by seeing the exhibit and seeing the same things that we saw while at the museum is interesting to see what elements from the exhibit made it into the book. One of the things that really struck me was the how the symbol of Joan of Arc and the Peter Pan-like figure were actually used with the women’s suffrage movement. In the novel Kitty is the person who is dressed as Peter Pan, although in the images we saw the person was wearing tights under the costume. Unfortunately, I did not take a picute of the image while we were at the museum, but after much searching across the internet I did however find the image. (http://www.heritage-images.com/Preview/PreviewPage.aspx?id=1192490&pricing=true&licenseType=RM) In the novel Kitty decieded that she would wear the costume without the tights because she wanted to feel the breeze on her legs, after a lifetime of wearing heavy skirts. “For most of the march I felt as if I were walking through a dream… What I did feel sharply was the sun and air on my legs. After a lifetime of heavy dresses, with their swathes of cloth wrapping my legs like bandages, it was an incredible sensation.”We were however informed that Chevalier did use creative license here. In the novel the image of Joan of Arc appears on Women’s Sunday, a mass meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU)
While we were in the Museum of London we also were able to look at the Londinium exhibit. This exhibit explored what life in Roman run Londinium would have been like. In our class we read The Emperor’s Babe by Bernardine Earisto, which explores the life of Zuleika in Londinium. One of the ways that the museum was able to inform the visitors what life would have been like when Romans controlled London was to look at Roman materials like money and then juxtapose it next to its modern-day counterpart. When I worked at The Cobblestone Museum last summer that was one of the methods we used to provide our visitors with context so that the items would not seem so foreign in their mind. For me seeing this exhibit after reading The Emperor’s Babe allowed me to get a better visualization of what Zuleika’s life would have been like.
Overall I was really impressed with the Museum of London. I wish that we had more time to explore there
More information on the Women’s Sunday