We are delighted to announce an exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Brontë will open at the Museum on 15 March 2016.

Charlotte Brontë at the Soane is an imaginative and fascinating free display which is inspired by the five trips Brontë made to London in the 1840s and ‘50s to see her publisher after the meteoric success of Jane Eyre. Curated by artist Charlotte Cory, the show brings together an incredible selection of objects: from the personal effects Brontë brought with her to London, to Cory’s own artworks inspired by these visits to the capital.

Visitors will be able to see the guidebook Brontë used to explore the city - featuring Sir John Soane’s Museum - and a dress that she wore to a dinner with her publisher; the first time the dress has returned to London since she wore it. Also, on display for the first time ever are newly discovered sketches of the Brontë sisters, drawn by their sister Anne.

Although Charlotte Brontë’s busy itinerary meant that she didn’t make it to the Museum, we are one of the few places in her guidebook which remain the same today as on her visits in the mid-nineteenth century. This show is therefore a unique opportunity to bring Brontë to the Museum for the first time, and to reflect on the Soane’s position on London’s tourist trail – frozen in time – for the past 180 years.

To mark the opening of the exhibition, we will host a special evening event on Friday 18 March, where Charlotte Brontë and her novel Jane Eyre will be celebrated with ‘pop-up’ readings, candlelight and cocktails. Tickets are £30. Buy here.

On April 21st 2016, the day of the bicentenary, the Soane will lead a unique public participation live reading event across the capital. Inspired by the famous plinths in Trafalgar Square, a ‘mobile’ Fifth Plinth will host readings of Brontë’s novels at various locations including the Soane, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Library. More details, including how you can get involved, will be announced shortly.

Charlotte Brontë at the Soane runs from 15 March until 7 May 2016. Admission is free.