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'Boston, Naturally' exhibition at Guildhall

Boston's free-admission Guildhall will be part of the countywide Heritage Open Days on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 8, 9 and 10.

The Guildhall will be open from 10.30am to 3.30pm, last admission 3pm and its event will run all the way through to the Spring.

A new exhibition has now opened to celebrate the Heritage Open Days' theme this year "Natural Lincolnshire" the Guildhall's exhibition is entitled "Boston, Naturally" bringing together some of the WB Thomas paintings of local scenes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Jean Ingelow's works held in the Guildhall  collections alongside other artefacts which reflect the theme.

Jean Ingelow was born in 1820 in Boston and spent her first years in a home just across the road from the Guildhall overlooking the river.

Her first work, a book of verse  wasn't published until 1850 when Jean was 30. These works attracted interest from Tennyson (who was also born in Lincolnshire) the Poet Laureate and they became good friends.

Jean Ingelow continued to publish, including children's story books. One of her best loved children's story "Mopsa the Fairy", 1869, is still in print.

Her book of verse brought her success and recognition with wide acclaim in America.  Published in 1863, this book was reproduced with 30 editions in Jean Ingelow's own lifetime.  Her best known poem is perhaps "High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire, 1571", where she merged two flood disasters from this area - the flooding at Fosdyke in 1810 being one, where a servant girl lost her life while milking cows.

When Lord Tennyson died, Jean Ingelow's name was suggested to Queen Victoria for the position of Poet Laureate.  However the suggestion of a female Poet Laureate, although Jean was considered, was thought too great an innovation at that time.

A stained glass window can be found in St Botolph's Church in honour of her memory.

Works of hers on display at the Guildhall include the poem "Hide Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire, 1571" and her 1865 book "Stories Told to a Child".  A drawing and painting by George Hackford is also on show in which can be seen part of the house which was Jean Ingelow's childhood home in Boston.

To find out about other events and activities in Lincolnshire - all free to visit - click on the link below https://www.heritagelincolnshire.org/heritage-open-days

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