Monthly Archives: June 2012

‘the only black-out is the black-out in my soul’

Group of Draped Figures in a Shelter (1941) by Henry Moore. Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation.

British women’s poetry of the Second World War by Anne Powell … experiences connected with the blitz, the shopping queues, the home front, deserted wives, deceived husbands, broken homes, dull jobs, bad schools, group squabbles, are so much a picture

A brief history of feminism


By Claire Jones Many people think of feminism as beginning with the women’s movement of the 1970s, but feminism was around even before bras had been invented -  let alone burned. Women scholars were arguing for a fairer deal for

Women and the bicycle


By Claire Jones In the mid 1880s, the emergence of a new, relatively stable and easy to ride ‘safety bicycle’ provided women with a chance for mobility, increased  independence and freedom from the confines of the home. Women took to

Davies and Davison


Is commemoration a matter of deeds versus words? The famous tragic incident when suffragette Emily Davison fatally threw herself in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby, 1913, remains engraved on the public’s memory. Indeed, many of you

Cleopatra: A Biography


by Duane W. Roller (Oxford University Press, 2010) hardback, rrp £14.99 Reviewed by Christina Riggs Mother of four. Sailor. Author. Medical student. Not exactly the sexpot of Shakespearean lore and Hollywood legend. But history suggests that there was much more

Beautiful For Ever


Madame Rachel of Bond Street – Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer by Helen Rappaport (Long Barn Books, 2011) paperback, rrp £8.99 Reviewed by Issy Shannon. How could any woman resist the blandishments of a shop promising eternal beauty? In 1863, at

Jane Whorwood, 1612-1684

Jane Whorwood

Secret Agent and confidante of Charles I who played a key role in the English Civil War By John Fox Early life No portrait of Jane Whorwood has been found. She was born in 1612 to a Scots official of

Suffragists and Suffragettes


An overview of the Votes for Women campaign By Claire Jones Introduction Before the 1832 Reform Act most men and all women did not have the vote. This act created a wider franchise but used the term ‘male person’, specifically

Women in Hospital Service in World War One


A brief overview by Anne Powell, author of Women in the War Zone : Hospital Service in the First World War    A researcher’s story Between 1975-1977 and 1982-1985 I lived in Mons, Belgium, where my husband had two appointments on

Mary Somerville (1780-1872)


Mathematician, astronomer, translator By Claire Jones Context It was difficult for a woman to reconcile the conflicting identities of ‘woman’ and ‘scientist’ in the nineteenth century. Theories of sexual difference of the time constructed women as less capable of abstract

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