“I MISS LORINA BULWER WAS EXAMINED BY DR PINCHING OF WALTHAMSTOW ESSEX AND FOUND TO BE A PROPERLY SHAPED FEMALE ” [From Transcript of one of Lorina Bulwer’s embroidered letters].
Last year, someone asked me to go look at a fascinating textile – some kind of embroidered sampler – they had in storage at the Thackray Medical Museum, in Leeds. They wondered if I could shed any light on it, in view of my fascination with eighteenth and nineteenth century asylums, and the crafts done in them.
I went – not reluctantly, but not expecting much. Embroidery and samplers are slightly out of my comfort zone. Plus… I was a bit put off, to find out the thing I was going to see was maybe Edwardian, so “after my time”. But went anyway. I didn’t come away disappointed. Turned out, the ‘sampler’ was…
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