TAL Festival at Thame Museum

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon – an unknown Victorian Heroine

An Evening with Jane Robinson. Friday 24th May : 7:30pm

Friday 24th May : 7:30pm

Venue : Thame Museum

Live at the museum : £7

Livestream online : £5

Click here to buy tickets

One of Victorian Britain’s most influential but forgotten women.
Artist, co-founder of Girton College, Cambridge, Cousin of Florence Nightingale, and friend of George Eliot, Rossetti and Gertrude Jekyll.

Born in 1827, Bodichon was the illegitimate child of a Norfolk parliamentarian, Liberal MP, her upbringing was unusually free; her education was encouraged. On reaching 21 years, her wealthy father settled on her a portfolio of investment that meant that she would forever be financially independent.

As a result she was able to study amongst other things, drawing at Bedford College, London; she became a renowned watercolourist, whose paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy. Her friends included Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 

It was Bodichon who opened the doors for more famous names to walk through. Her influence owed as much to who she was as to what she did: she became a prominent women’s rights activist; she campaigned for equal opportunity in the workplace, the law, the polling booth, at home; she co-founded the first university college for women; the first women’s suffrage society; was fervently against slavery and was a committed activist for human rights.

Her visionary view on mental health was ahead of its time. She challenged the status quo by suggesting that alcoholism might be a symptom of mental distress, rather than the proof of moral degradation.

Join renowned local author and social historian, 
Jane Robinson as she talks about her brilliant new book that shines a light on this remarkable woman.

Why has history not treated Bodichon with the respect she deserves?

Why has someone so fundamental to our social, cultural and political history been so side-lined?

John Crace – February 2024

TAL Festival 2024 got off to a splendidly anarchic start!! Our evening with the Guardian’s political sketch writer, John Crace was both funny and thought provoking. Playing to a full house with many more watching online, John and Steve looked back at the traumas of 2023 and forward to the election of 2024. IT was quite simply, enthralling.

The Thame Chronicles is one of several original creations from TAL Festival.

If you haven’t watched this amazing film starring Bruce Alexander with a supporting cast of amazing actors then you are missing a major treat

Never mind the omnibus Eastenders or Strictly or The Sound of Music or James Bond….

Get the family together, break out the popcorn, sit back and enjoy Thame at its very best.

Watch carefully – you might even see yourself!

It was huge fun and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it

Thank you for supporting TAL Festival