“The greatest inspiration to me has been the wife I was fortunate to win”.
Viscount Leverhulme on his wife at the opening of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, built in honour of her memory, December 1922.
This special exhibition at Port Sunlight Museum commemorates the centenary of the death of Lady Lever (Elizabeth Ellen Hulme), the wife of Port Sunlight Village founder William Hesketh Lever.
Little is known about her as a person – her likes and dislikes, and her hobbies and past-times – aside from what appears in the official Lever Brothers record. She is presented as a doting wife and mother, who personifies many of the attributes of the ideal Victorian woman – a tirelessly patient, sacrificing and charming wife, always ready to sympathize with the wishes of others.
‘The Lady Behind The Lord’ attempts to uncover the real Elizabeth Ellen Hulme by exploring her upbringing, her relationship with her husband, only son, and the residents of Port Sunlight Village, as well as the reaction to her untimely death.
Client: Port Sunlight Museum