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An image of a placeholder book cover. There is the title of the book; Material Literacy in 18th-Century Britain, A Nation of Makers. An image of the author is beneath.

An Evening with the Author of Material Literacy in 18th-Century Britain, A Nation of Makers – Serena Dyer

June 20 @ 6:30 pm8:00 pm

“There is something deeply moving about encountering eighteenth-century women via the things they stitched, wore, cut, drew and painted. Richly detailed, evocative and precise – as well as beautifully illustrated – Material Lives has much in common with the intricate, creative women’s work that Dyer studies in this book.” — Hannah Greig, UNIVERSITY OF YORK

Join us for an evening with the Author of Material Literacy in 18th-Century Britain, A Nation of Makers, Serena Dyer.

Come along for a glass of wine and a special evening at Gainsborough’s House. Copies of the book will be available for the author to sign, specially discounted for the evening.

Tickets £12

Book your space now.
Tickets for this Event can be cancelled up to one week beforehand. Refunds will be given after this date only if the ticket is re-sold.

Book bio

Eighteenth-century women told their life stories through making. With its compelling stories of women’s material experiences and practices, Material Lives offers a new perspective on eighteenth-century production and consumption. Genteel women’s making has traditionally been seen as decorative, trivial and superficial. Yet their material archives, forged through fabric samples, watercolours, dressed prints and dolls’ garments, reveal how women used the material culture of making to record and navigate their lives.

Material Lives positions women as ‘makers’ in a consumer society. Through fragments of fabric and paper, Dyer explores an innovative way of accessing the lives of otherwise obscured women. For researchers and students of material culture, dress history, consumption, gender and women’s history, it offers a rich resource to illuminate the power of needles, paintbrushes and scissors.

About Serena Dyer

Dr Serena Dyer FRHistS AFHEA is a historian, broadcaster, and curator, specialising in the history of fashion, shopping, and material culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her prize-winning first book, Material Lives: Women Makers and Consumer Culture in the 18th Century, was published by Bloomsbury in 2021. Her current research projects include work on the performance of British patriotism through dress, the history of buying British, historicism and sartorial temporality, and recreation and remaking dress as a historical methodology.

Serena is Associate Professor of Fashion History and Material Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, having previously taught at the University of Hertfordshire and the University of York. Before returning to academia, Serena was Curator of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture and Assistant Curator at the National Portrait Gallery. She is the presenter of English Heritage/Our Media’s Fashion Through History, and she regularly appears on BBC radio.

An image of author Serena Dyer. A white woman with long brown hair wearing a blue blouse.