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International Women's Day – Zooming Emily's story

Why was Emily Williamson's campaign written out of the conservation narrative?

It's odd that that the thrilling early history of the RSPB is only just being celebrated – because it's such a great story. Worthy, we think, of a film.

We have Victorian eco heroine Emily in Didsbury, calling out the fashion for insanely feathered hats. She's joined in the south by Eliza Phillips and Etta Lemon: together the three women make a formidable team – a thorn in the side of the plumage industry.

There are Duchesses and Suffragettes, fashion shaming each other from the opera box to the street rally. Voracious plumage hunters are wiping out America's egret colonies. Teenage feather workers are labouring for five shillings a week under lock and key, in grim workshops in the East End...

Author Tessa Boase has spent three years digging through the archives to uncover this surprising story for her book, Etta Lemon. Join her on Thursday 10 March, 7.30pm, as she brings it magically to life, with images and gripping storytelling, via Zoom.

Tickets here: £5-£3 donation to RSPB.

'An exceptionally inspired, skilful and entertaining lecture' – RSPB.

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