Discover A Victorian Man’s Greatest Fear At Hollytrees Museum!

A fascinating new display entitled ‘And what came of it?’ is now open at Hollytrees Museum in Colchester

Date issued: 25 February 2019

Discover A Victorian Man’s Greatest Fear At Hollytrees Museum!

 A fascinating new display entitled ‘And what came of it?’ is now open at Hollytrees Museum in Colchester and runs until Saturday 14 September.

Items on display depict the story of women’s equality and how attitudes towards women in the workplace have changed over time.

Who would have thought one of the Victorian’s greatest fears was policewomen?

One of the items on display includes an extraordinary handkerchief printed in 1881 that betrays the Victorian man’s terror at the idea of women in the world of work.

The handkerchief, which is on display for the first time, depicts what the response was to the early days of the campaign for equality and shows how much it was entrenched in Victorian values that a woman’s place was in the home.

It imagines women caricatured as lawyers, sailors, soldiers and scientists whilst men are ‘frozen out’ to be left idle or engaged in ‘women’s work’ of laundry, house cleaning and childcare. 

Cllr Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture and Deputy Leader of the Council said, “This new exhibit follows on from the popular ‘We are Colchester’ exhibit that Hollytrees Museum held last year. For me, perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the handkerchief is not the images themselves, but the fact that a hundred years ago, these ordinary-looking, if caricaturised scenes could elicit deep feelings of fear and prejudice.

“If you live in Colchester, or are planning to visit, I would highly recommend heading to Hollytrees Museum to see the new exhibit and discover more stories surrounding the lives of women in Colchester “

Entry to the museum is free of charge.

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