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Branch Out | Talk: The Curious Life of Elizabeth Blackwell

This talk is part of the Garden Museum's new Branch Out programme, a series of free events and activities exploring gardening, art, floristry, plant science, history, design, and more!

Free, booking required. Please note this talk, previously scheduled for 27.07.23, will now take place on 10.08.23 due to industrial action on tubes and trains. 

Join novelist Pamela Holmes for a free lunchtime lecture as part of our Branch Out programme.

Herbs, prison, and passion, these pepper the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, Britain’s first female botanical illustrator. In the 1730s, she turned her skill at engraving into gold. Her weekly installments of ‘herbals’ sold to apothecaries and the public who bought them for the stunning painted prints and texts on treatments. Elizabeth made enough money to pay her husband’s fines, freeing him from the notorious Marshalsea debtors’ prison. Though her book of prints, The Curious Herbal, is a treasure of the British Library, few people know her incredible story.  But that’s just the start …

Our Branch Out programme has been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England

  • Pamela Holmes

    Pamela Holmes

    Pamela Holmes was born in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of eight, she moved with her family to England. She studied nursing at London University after three years living on a commune in Somerset where she developed a love of gardening, milking cows and laying hedges. The Huntingfield Paintress was her first novel followed by Wyld Dreamers. She won the Jane Austen Short Story Award in 2014 and her entry for the HISSAC short story competition 2015 was Highly Commended. Pamela is the mother of two boys and lives in London with her husband.