Last night I presented a talk at Middlesbrough Library as part of their Literary Festival.
The library is a beautiful ornate building featuring a classical design.
In its original form, it provided a lending library where boys and girls sections were separated by a screen, a ladies reading room, a central news room with a separate entrance in Grange Road, and on the first floor were the law and patent and reference libraries. This was Middlesbrough`s first purpose-built premises to house its public library. Most of the original building still stands.
The reference room on the first floor is beautifully panelled in wood and has a lovely gallery – It was decorated with attractive flags and was the perfect setting.
The evening’s events included a lecture at 7pm by Tracy Borman – her latest book is ‘Matilda: Queen of the Conqueror’ Matilda of Flanders is about the diminutive yet formidable wife of William the Conqueror. Tracy was due to talk about Matilda however in keeping with the 16th Century theme she changed her topic to Queen Elizabeth I. Tracy also wrote Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen – her lecture was both very interesting and very enjoyable.
Following Tracy I presented my talk at 8pm.
My stunning display of four mannequins complete with headdresses, jewellery, masks and fans included a Mary Queen of Scots Execution Gown, a Jane Seymour Silver Silk Gown, an Anne Boleyn Blue Silk Dress and an Orange Silk Masquerade Gown.
Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII also made a grand entrance wearing full regalia.
I included information about the design, inspiration and construction of my 16th Century Theatrical Costumes as well a brief history of the people who wore them.
I removed the Orange Silk Tudor Gown to reveal the underwear below. Included was a corset based on Elizabeth I’s effigy, a bumroll, a farthingale and a chemise. I explained that without the foundation garments the shape of the dress of the period would be unable to be achieved so it is a very important part of the costumes.
Included was Mary Queen of Scots Fotheringay Costume. It was inspired by an eye witness account of garments worn for her execution. I removed the black velvet outer gown to reveal a brightly coloured dress beneath. I also presented a very interesting account of her execution in 1587.
I musn’t forget to mention the fabulous staff at Middlesbrough Library – they were all extremely helpful and very friendly. It was also a pleasure to meet Tracy Borman – a lovely lady.
The talks proved to be very popular – all seats were booked.
Lynn commented on the Middlesbrough Literary Festival Facebook Page –
‘Just enjoyed two wonderful events at Central Library, Tracy Borman talking about one of her latest books Elizabeth I and The Tudor Fashion Show, beautiful costumes by Julia Renaissance Costumes’.
Middlesborough Library said-
‘The feedback we received on the night was fantastic. Everyone was so pleased. The audience are lovely and a very loyal group of costume followers. We would certainly love to have you back and look forward to seeing you in the future.
I really enjoyed presenting my talk and chatting to guests during my question and answer session. I would love to host another event at this lovely library.