As we mark the centenary of The Easter Rising, a recent article by Olivia O’Leary for The Guardian lead me to consider the involvement of women in the conflict, and on the involvement of the aristocrat-turned-rebel, Countess Markievicz in particular. … More “Dress suitably in short skirts … and buy a revolver”: The role of women in The Easter Rising of 1916
Until recently, history consisted only of men. The writers of history were mainly men, portraying history as being created and maintained by their fellow gender. Men always carried out the most important roles: they formed the armies, were preferred as the monarchs and took up the roles in government. It’s this disallowing of women to … More The Invisible Contributors and Maintainers of Society
‘Courage even above her sex’, this statement immortalised on a plaque as part of a eulogy for Lady Mary Bankes by her son Sir Ralph Bankes is located in St Martin’s Church in Ruislip, Greater London. This statement was in actual fact a rather fitting and accurate description of her; particularly concerning her valour during … More Lady Mary Bankes and the Siege of Corfe Castle
‘How repressed were the Victorians?’ asks a recent article for The British Library. Writing a convincing case for a reassessment of Victorian sexuality, Dr Holly Furneaux challenges our assumptions about Victorian attitudes to sex, while considering the many ways in which theorists such as Michel Foucault have provided ‘new ways of understanding sex and sexuality … More Angel in the castle? Queen Victoria and female sexuality in the nineteenth century.
As the dissertation starts to bite, I have found that watching many Disney films is the perfect reward after a hard day’s work at the library, no doubt Pocahontas was one of them. Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan (Wahunsenacawh) of the Powhatan tribe in the state known today as Virginia. However as many … More Pocahontas
It is somewhat staggering that it has taken just over a hundred years since the end of the Women’s Social and Political Union’s (WSPU) campaign for a film based on the British fight for women’s suffrage to be made. This is made even more staggering that on television the only production on women’s suffrage was … More Suffragette: Some Thoughts
For my blog post this month, I’ve decided to try something a little different and go back to Fifth-Century Athens, with this time looking at the women known as Hetaira. These women were sexual companions to men, but were not simply prostitutes, as they were educated and influential companions to the men for whom they … More Hetaira: Admired Women in Fifth-Century Athens
Jane Eyre was published in 1847 by Charlotte Bronte and is perhaps one of the most celebrated works in English Literature today. This post will explore the novel Jane Eyre as a historical source, primarily during Jane’s childhood. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the novel towards the beginning Jane is an orphan living … More Jane Eyre as a historical source for Tuberculosis? Contains minor spoilers if you still haven’t read Jane Eyre!
Jane Austen’s famous works have transcended the past two centuries and are as well-known now as they were when they were first published. Her novels on the lives of the Bennett sisters, the Dashwoods, and the famous Emma were popular in their own times and today, with film and TV adaptations especially popular since the … More Jane Austen as a Source for Eighteenth-Century and Regency Women
This month in the UK is LGBT history month and in its honour I have decided to look at a figure from each group in the acronym. Lesbian – Gladys Bentley Born in 1907, Bentley left home at 16 for New York where she soon ended up in Harlem. Harlem had become known as the … More The Bulldagger of the Harlem Renaissance, The Gay Emperor, The Bisexual Pirate and the Blonde Bombshell