She was a feisty, independent character who was a pioneer for generations.

Yes, there was certainly something about Mary.

Mary Taylor, that is, who as well as being a friend and inspiration to famous author Charlotte Brontë, attracted international attention in her own right for her unusually-independent lifestyle.

Mary was born and lived in Red House at Gomersal and is now to be the subject of a new project by Kirklees Council.

Seen as one of Britain’s first feminists, Mary Taylor flouted the accepted norms of 19th Century society to lead a life of travel and adventure.

Now visitors to the museum can learn about this extraordinary Victorian woman through a quiz, ‘There’s Something About Mary Taylor’, that will uncover her incredible story as they explore the house.

Mary Taylor, who was born and lived in the Red House at Gomersal, flouted the accepted norms of 19th century society.

During her life, Mary ran a business, led mountain climbing expeditions and advocated feminist views.

Born in 1817 into a woollen merchant’s family at Red House, Mary Taylor gradually grew away from her traditional West Riding roots.

She became a friend and inspiration to Charlotte Brontë and attracted international attention.

Red House Museum, Gomersal
Red House Museum, Gomersal
 

Challenging the strictures of the time she taught boys in Germany, she emigrated alone to New Zealand in 1845, and she wrote three books.

When she returned to West Yorkshire in 1860, Mary contributed to the history of the women’s movement by writing articles for a magazine called The Victoria.

In her articles Mary outlined her feminist views, for instance calling on women to earn money to look after themselves so they were not dependent on men.

The free quiz will run from this week until Sunday, March 29. Normal house admission charges apply: adult £2.50, child £1 and family £6.

The museum’s winter opening times are Tuesday to Thursday 11am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 12noon-4pm. From March, the museum is open Tuesday to Thursday 11am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 12noon-5pm. Access is via stairs.