EVENT: Fablehouse Mixed Museum x Foundling Museum (past)

In partnership with Bloomsbury and the Foundling Museum, we are delighted to bring together writer E.L. Norry, Professor Lucy Bland and former Holnicote house resident Ann Evans to discuss the real life mixed race histories behind the new children’s novel Fablehouse. 


Fablehouse book surround by decorative woodland items, including toadstools, and a sword.

The Mixed Museum is continuing our partnership with Bloomsbury with a special event to discuss the real-life stories behind Fablehouse, a new book for children inspired by the ‘brown babies’ who grew up at Holnicote children’s home after World War Two.

Held at the Foundling Museum in London on 28 June at 7.00pm, the panel event – chaired by our Director, Dr Chamion Caballero – will bring together Fablehouse author, E. L. Norry, who is care-experienced, Professor Lucy Bland, author of Britain’s Brown Babies, which inspired the book, and Ann Evans, a former child resident of Holnicote House.

“This is shaping up to be a very special, unique event,” says Chamion Caballero. “Fablehouse has been resonating deeply with so many of our supporters, who were kindly provided with advance copies. It is such a privilege to play a part in bringing E.L. Norry together with Lucy, whose research inspired our award-winning exhibition, and Ann, who was a resident at Fablehouse’s real life alter ego, Holnicote House!

“I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on the history of the ‘brown babies’ and the fiction it’s inspired, and I can’t think of a more fitting venue to do so at than the Foundling Museum, which does such valuable work preserving the history of some of London’s most vulnerable children.”

Grace Ball, Bloomsbury Children’s Publicist, said: “I am so pleased that this incredible event has been brought to fruition and that we could join up with The Mixed Museum and The Foundling Museum, both of which felt like the perfect partners for this occasion. Fablehouse is an absolute star on our children’s list this year and E.L. Norry has poured so much research and her own story of growing up in care into this book, so it was important that we were able to share this history with a wider audience.”

A photograph of some of Britain's 'Brown Babies' of WW2, standing in a line and looking at the camerar.
'Brown babies' at children's home Holnicote House

Partnering with the Foundling Museum

The event coincides with the Foundling Museum’s ‘Finding Family’ exhibition, which runs until the end of August 2023 and explores the idea of family through a broader, more inclusive definition that invites you to consider where our own sense of connection and identity lie.

The Foundling Museum, which opened in 2004, tells the story of the UK’s first children’s charity, The Foundling Hospital, founded in 1739 by Thomas Coram and designed to care for babies at risk of abandonment in England. Today the museum’s mission is to inspire change through the power of the arts.

Watch the event!

The event - Fablehouse: Britain’s Brown Babies in Partnership with The Mixed Museum - took place at the Foundling Museum on Wednesday 28 June 2023 at 7pm. Watch the video of the panel discussion on our YouTube channel!

Learn more

Read our In Conversation with…interview with Fablehouse author E. L. Norry.

Visit our award-winning digital exhibition Brown Babies.

Watch our video of Ann Evans telling how she came to be at Holnicote House.