Madame Brussels: Reconciling newspaper narratives with archival evidence

When: March 9, 2023

Where: Melbourne, Australia


Madame Brussels is Melbourne’s best-known ‘flash madam’ from the nineteenth century.

She has a cocktail bar and a laneway in the CBD named after her, but who was she?

If you read the newspapers of the time she was ‘the wickedest woman in Melbourne’, but today we constantly see outspoken women having their reputations dragged through the mud by the media.

Can we expect the news outlets of the past to have treated women any better? In this talk by award-winning author Barbara Minchinton, she will explore the difference between history from the newspapers and history from the archives.

Barbara Minchinton’s work as a historian with archaeologists on Melbourne's urban history prompted a study of Melbourne's sex work industry in the nineteenth century.

Her book The Women of Little Lon won the 2022 History Publication Prize at the Victorian Community History Awards. She is currently working on a biography of Madame Brussels.

Victorian Archives Centre
99 Shiel St
North Melbourne

09 March, 2023
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