Domesticating the Goddess Liberty

20Nov_Goddess Liberty

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Gain an insight into fascinating research on the British Library's French collection

Take a journey back in time through the British Library’s French poster collection. Join Cherie Prosser for the unravelling of a mystery that takes us to First World War Paris, as we reveal the historical significance of the changing female representation of ‘Liberty’. 

Over time, the allegorical image of republican France has been the enduring female figure ‘Liberty’. While occupying a key role in the French popular imagination, the goddess Liberty underwent significant transfiguration by the end of the First World War. This talk uses the British Library’s collection of historical French posters to draw together the pictorial imagery surrounding Liberty’s journey in this period to being a ‘modern’ woman. Shadowing her progression toward modernism, we explore how this graceful figure was of strategic importance in the redefinition of French political, social and moral values. 

Introducing a little known collection, this talk will demonstrate the unique insights to be gained from comparative collections-based research. With a particular focus on the First World War and beyond, it will showcase new insights into the use of posters as a source for understanding socio-cultural and historical change. 

Cherie Prosser is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. This paper is a product of her on-going doctoral research in collaboration with the British Library.

Please bring your packed lunch. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided.


Name: Domesticating the Goddess Liberty
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £5.00
Member: £4.00
Senior 60+: £4.50
Student: £4.00
Registered Unemployed: £4.00
Under 18: £4.00
Friend of the British Library: £4.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546