Sunday, May 5, 2019

Fwd: BBC Meeting Tuesday, May 14th

"The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." 
― J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird

-----Original Message-----
From: membership <>
To: membership <>
Sent: Sat, May 4, 2019 11:34 PM
Subject: BBC Meeting Tuesday, May 14th

Tessa Boase Presents: Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change

May 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Note: This event will meet in Classroom C at the Prospect Park Zoo.

For half a century, from the 1870s to the 1920s, women on both sides of the Atlantic were gripped by a fashion craze that decreed all hats should be laden with feathers. Not just feathers, but wings, bird and whole bodies of birds – often several birds at a time. Species the world over were slowly brought to the brink of extinction, and all for the sake of millinery. Campaigning on behalf of the birds was a small band of angry woman with a splendidly simple goal. They were going to stamp out the fashion for feathers in hats.

The 'feather fight', as it became known, was bitter, vicious and un-sisterly. Wearers of the 'bird hat' were attacked as narcissists and slaughterers. Edwardian fashion victims hit back, calling their female critics 'plumage cranks' and 'feather faddists'. Why shouldn't emancipated women wear what they wanted? Leading the battle in Britain was a fearsome woman who has not been remembered by history, and yet for 50 years was the driving force behind the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), today Britain's biggest conservation charity. Her name was Etta Lemon. Where she lead in1889, the Audubon Society would follow.

When social historian Tessa Boase told the RSPB she wanted to write their early story, they refused to let her revisit their archives. To a former investigative journalist and Oxford English graduate, this was a challenge she could not resist . . . Join her to hear the intriguing untold story of women, birds, hats – and votes. After the talk, Tessa will be signing copies of her book, Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change.

An important note about meeting location: Due to scheduling conflicts at the library, our April and May meetings will be held at the Prospect Park Zoo.

Please enter at the service gate. The service gate is located south of the zoo's main entrance on Flatbush Avenue, but just north of, and practically next to the Leffert's house. A zoo security guard will be posted there till 7:15 to allow late comers in. If you arrive late, you may not be able to get onto zoo grounds. Please be on time for a 7:00pm start.

When the meeting concludes, members will be escorted out together to Flatbush Avenue. Zoo security is on grounds to keep us safe at all times.

Our meeting will take place in the "C" building classroom. It has accessible bathrooms down the hallway. The directions to get to the classroom are attached as a PDF. After walking into the service gate, you will continue walking straight, through a large gate, until you are on the actual zoo path (~ 75 ft), turn right on the path and walk toward a large octopus sculpture. Turn left under the Octopus, this will put you on the Discovery Trail (where the pond is). Immediately on your right is the entrance to the C building.

Parking is available on Flatbush Avenue. Transit directions can be found here: