The fine, nuptial plumes of the Great and Little Egret were highly desirable millinery adornments for the Edwardian lady of fashion; so much so, that by 1903 an ounce of feathers was worth twice its weight in gold. Yet for every ounce of ‘aigrette’ sold, two pairs of adult birds had to die, their fledglings starving to death.

When the RSPB’s founding members launched a hard-hitting campaign against this ‘badge of cruelty’ in 1903, they lit the touch-paper on an incendiary issue.

From a plumage hunt in the Everglades, to a Bond Street sandwich board parade, Tessa Boase reveals the rise and rise of ‘murderous millinery’ and how a small group of women campaigned to save the snowy egret from extinction.


This will be followed by the opportunity to purchase and have signed Tessa’s publications.

Date(s) - 17/08/2019
3:45 pm - 4:15 pm

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