Actress and supermodel Lily Cole has spoken out against the backlash that confronted her when she was announced as being a part of events to mark the bicentennial of Emily Bronte’s birth, describing some negative reactions as “prejudice”.

She has been named as the ‘creative partner’ for celebrations held by the Bronte Parsonage Museum in West Yorkshire later this year.

However, the 30 year old star’s involvement has triggered the resignation of Bronte expert Nick Holland from the Bronte Society, as he believes that Bronte would not approve of a model getting the role.

Cole’s involvement will include taking part in a short film for the museum about Bronte’s character Heathcliff, the anti-hero from her novel ‘Wuthering Heights’, which will also address gender politics and universal suffrage in 2018, the year that marks a century since women were given the vote.

Lily ColeLily Cole has been named as 'creative partner' for the celebrations

Making reference to the fact that Emily and her sisters Charlotte and Anne had to publish their work pseudonymously in order to be taken seriously, Cole wondered whether she should do the same now “so that it will be judged on its own merits, rather than on my name, my gender, my image or my teenage decisions".

“I would not be so presumptuous as to guess Emily's reaction to my appointment as a creative partner at the museum, were she alive today. Yet I respect her intellect and integrity enough to believe that she would not judge any piece of work on name alone,” she said.

Cole became famous as a supermodel in her teens, appearing in campaigns for the likes of Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Louis Vuitton and later commenced an acting career in films such as 2007’s St. Trinian’s. All the while, she was pursuing a glittering academic career. In 2011, she graduated with a double first from Cambridge University in History of Art.

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