Heather Firbank

Q. As one of the 3 authors of the forthcoming V and A book on Heather Firbank, noted on your own web site encouragingly, I read your excellent page on her brother with much interest. In particular, I noticed that you quote from a letter Heather wrote to her brother Arthur/Ronald.

I write to ask where this letter is stored please. Is there a family archive in Chislehurst somewhere please? I am interested to know if Heather went to school and where please or was she tutored at home?

I look forward to hearing from you. Prof. Lou Taylor, University of Brighton.


A. This enquiry was part of a fascinating period of research for Coopers and the V & A Museum and we eagerly anticipate the publication of the book on Heather Firbank and her dresses, the designs of which were used as a template for Lady Mary’s outfits in ITV’s Downton Abbey!

I have checked my notes and the reference to the letter came from the biography by I K Fletcher, from Bromley Local Studies. The actual letter is one of those currently in New York Public Library. Fifth Av, Ronald Firbank collection of papers 1905 – 1926.

Our correspondence with Prof.Taylor continued with our successful search to determine where Heather Firbank was buried, achieved with the enormous help of the Lindfield History Society in West Sussex.

The image here is of one of Heather Firbank's costumes.