A Stitch in Time - Episode 4

A Stitch in Time

In Scotland's Scone Palace there hangs a portrait that for many years was mistakenly thought to depict Lady Elizabeth Murray accompanied by her black servant. It was only in the 1980s that it was discovered that the ,servant, was in fact Murray's cousin - Dido Elizabeth Belle - the illegitimate daughter of a British naval captain and an enslaved African woman. But what does the portrait reveal about this mysterious figure? The composition of the painting makes it especially difficult to uncover the design of her dress, and details of Dido's life prove equally elusive. Amber Butchart has her own views on the nature of the garment but finds them challenged when she eventually dons Ninya Mikhaila's recreation. The archives at Kenwood House provide clues to Dido's biography, while an 18th century cotton mill is the setting for a discussion about the impact of slavery on the fashion of the day.
Jan 02, 2022
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