I was ten years old when I came across Boadicea, and she became the first woman to make me realise that the designated future of a girl born in 1950 – to be sweet, domesticated, undemanding and super feminine – was not necessarily the case. Boadicea battled the Romans. Nancy Astor fought in Parliament. Emmeline Pankhurst campaigned for female suffrage. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became a pioneering physician in a man’s profession. Mary Quant revolutionised the fashion industry. Britain has traditionally been defined by its conflicts, its conquests, its men and its monarchs. It’s high time that it was defined by its women. In this unique history, Jenni Murray tells the stories of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change. Famous queens, forgotten visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians – all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. In Murray’s hands their stories are enthralling and beguiling; they have the power to inspire us once again.
They led while others followed. They stood up and spoke out when no one else would. They broke the mould in art, music and literature. Each of them fought, in their own way, for change. Encompassing artists, politicians, activists, reporters and heads of state from past and present, A History of the World in 21 Women celebrates the lives, struggles and achievements of women who have had a profound impact on the shaping of our world. Jenni’s 21 are: Joan of Arc, Artemesia Gentileschi, Angela Merkel, Benazir Bhutto, Hillary Clinton, Coco Chanel, Empress Dowager Cixi, Catherine the Great, Clara Schumann, Hatshepsut, Wangari Maathai, Golda Meir, Frida Kahlo, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Isabella of Castile, Cathy Freeman, Anna Politokovskaya, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Madonna and Marie Curie.
The inimitable Jenni Murray celebrates great women from around the world - rescuing some from obscurity and shining a new light on familiar names
The only child of an electrical engineer and a mother who resented the fact that she'd never been to university, the broadcaster Jenni Murray grew up in a traditional household in the 1950s. But instead of becoming the conventional housewife her mother expected her to be, Jenni opted to forge her own path in both her career and her personal life. The resulting tensions have lasted as long as she can remember. How, she has often wondered, could two women be so close, so full of love for each other, and at the same time so full of hate that they broke each other's hearts? And so Jenni began her remarkable memoir - and continued to write throughout 2006 as her mother lay dying, and Jenni struggled to care for her and her beloved father while herself being treated for breast cancer. Filled with love and laughter, frustration and heartbreak, and with the courage 'to keep on keeping on' even in the darkest days, it will speak to every mother and daughter, dutiful or not.
Author: Charles Allen
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India. This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen's exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region - and how these have influenced contemporary politics. Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.
Women of the Raj
Author: Margaret MacMillan
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
A vivid social history details the lives of British women "exiled" to India by virtue of their husbands' and fathers' assignments there during the era of British colonial rule, interweaving personal correspondence, interviews, and memoirs to capture a unique society immersed in a culture very different from their own. Original. 35,000 first printing.
The Century Girls
Author: Tessa Dunlop
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Tessa Dunlop made pains to select women from broad walks of life and succeeds in weaving a rich tapestry of experiences.'The Independent ‘A warm-hearted and engaging read, The Century Girls is replete with wonderful characters.’ Sunday Express 'Dunlop has pulled off an impressive feat of oral history...creating a moving portrait of a world that is now lost forever.' Who Do You Think You Are?? A celebration of the one-hundred years since British women got the vote, told, in their own voices, by six centenarians: Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis – The Century Girls? In 2018 Britain celebrates the centenary of some women getting the vote. The intervening ten decades have witnessed staggering change, and The Century Girls features six women born in 1918 or before who haven’t just witnessed that change, they’ve lived it. Empire shrank, war came and went, and modern society demanded continual readjustment.... the Century Girls lasted the course, and this book weaves together their lifetime’s adventures – what they were taught, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. With stories that are intimately knitted into the history of the British Isles, this is a time-travel epic featuring our oldest, most precious national treasures. Edna, 102, was a domestic servant born in Lincolnshire. Helena is 101 years old and the eldest of eight born into a Welsh farming family. Olive, 102, began life as a child of empire in British Guiana and was one of the first women to migrate to London after the war. There’s Ann, a 103-year-London bohemian; 100-year-old Phyllis, daughter of the British Raj, who has called Edinburgh home for nearly eighty years; and finally ‘young’ Joyce – a 99-year-old Cambridge classicist who’s still at work. It is through the prism of these women’s very long lives that The Century Girls provides a deeply personal account of British history over the past one hundred years. Their story is our story too. Further praise for The Century Girls 'It features among others my teacher and mate, 99 year old Joyce Reynolds, going super strong and still a stern and helpful critic.' Mary Beard 'A delightful book . . . all about women and women's lives.' Jane Garvey, Radio 4 Woman's Hour? 'A highly personal insight into British society over the past century...revealing and enlightening stories which would otherwise have been lost.' The Scotsman ‘A deeply personal and moving account of the last 100 years of British history.’ The Bookseller 'It’s a brilliant book… It’s fantastic!' Chris Evans, Radio 2 Breakfast Show ‘A wonderful blend of British history with individual stories – and for any reader under about 90, an often startling reminder of how much things have changed.’ Reader’s Digest? ‘What better way to mark the centenary of some British women getting the vote than to read about inspirational women who witness revolutionary changes? Six centenarians reminisce on their incredible century. A history lesson to savour.’ The Lady
Author: Will C. van den Hoonaard
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
Map Worlds plots a journey of discovery through the world of women map-makers from the golden age of cartography in the sixteenth-century Low Countries to tactile maps in contemporary Brazil. Author Will C. van den Hoonaard examines the history of women in the profession, sets out the situation of women in technical fields and cartography-related organizations, and outlines the challenges they face in their careers. Map Worlds explores women as colourists in early times, describes the major houses of cartographic production, and delves into the economic function of intermarriages among cartographic houses and families. It relates how in later centuries, working from the margins, women produced maps to record painful tribal memories or sought to remedy social injustices. Much later, one woman so changed the way we think about continents that the shift has been likened to the Copernican revolution. Other women created order and wonder about the lunar landscape, and still others turned the art and science of making maps inside out, exposing the hidden, unconscious, and subliminal “text” of maps. Shared by all these map-makers are themes of social justice and making maps work for the betterment of humanity.
The Trouble with Women
Author: Jacky Fleming
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Ever noticed that women don't feature much in history books, and wondered why? Then this is the book for you. In The Trouble with Women, feminist artist Jacky Fleming illustrates how the opinions of supposed male geniuses, such as Charles Darwin (who believed that women have smaller brains than men) and John Ruskin (who believed that women's main function was to praise men), have shaped the fate of women through history, confining them to a life of domesticity and very little else. Get ready to laugh, wince, and rescue forgotten women from the "dustbin of history," while keeping a close eye out for tell-tale "genius hair."
Stitches in Time
Author: Lucy Adlington
Publisher: Random House
Riffling through the wardrobes of years gone by, costume historian Lucy Adlington reveals the rich stories underlying the clothes we wear in this stylish tour of the most important developments in the history of fashion, from ancient times to the present day. Starting with underwear – did you know Elizabeth I owned just one pair of drawers, worn only after her death? – she moves garment by garment through Western attire, exploring both the items we still wear every day and those that have gone the way of the dodo (sugared petticoats, farthingales and spatterdashers to name but a few). Beautifully illustrated throughout, and crammed with fascinating and eminently quotable facts, Stitches in Time shows how the way we dress is inextricably bound up with considerations of aesthetics, sex, gender, class and lifestyle – and offers us the chance to truly appreciate the extraordinary qualities of these, our most ordinary possessions.
The Button Box
Author: Lynn Knight
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
I used to love the rattle and whoosh of my grandmaâe(tm)s buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin. An inlaid wooden chest the size of a shoe box holds Lynn Knightâe(tm)s button collection. A collection that has been passed down through three generations of women: a chunky sixties-era toggle from a favourite coat, three tiny pearl buttons from her motherâe(tm)s first dress after she was adopted as a baby, a jet button from a time of Victorian mourning. Each button tells a story. âe~They change our view of the world and the worldâe(tm)s view of usâe(tm) said Virginia Woolf of clothes. The Button Box traces the story of women at home and in work from pre-First World War domesticity, through the first clerical girls in silk blouses, to the delights of beading and glamour in the thirties to short skirts and sexual liberation in the sixties.
The Hollow Crown
Author: Miri Rubin
Publisher: Penguin UK
There is no more haunting, compelling period in Britain's history than the later middle ages. The extraordinary kings - Edward III and Henry V the great warriors, Richard II and Henry VI, tragic inadequates killed by their failure to use their power, and Richard III, the demon king. The extraordinary events - the Black Death that destroyed a third of the population, the Peasants' Revolt, the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Agincourt. The extraordinary artistic achievements - the great churches, castles and tombs that still dominate the landscape, the birth of the English language in The Canterbury Tales. For the first time in a generation, a historian has had the vision and confidence to write a spell-binding account of the era immortalised by Shakespeare's history plays. THE HOLLOW CROWN brilliantly brings to life for the reader a world we have long lost - a strange, Catholic, rural country of monks, peasants, knights and merchants, almost perpetually at war - but continues to define so much of England's national myth.
Stations of the Sun
Author: Ronald Hutton
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Comprehensive and engaging, this colourful study covers the whole sweep of ritual history from the earliest written records to the present day. From May Day revels and Midsummer fires, to Harvest Home and Hallowe'en, to the twelve days of Christmas, Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain. He challenges many common assumptions about the customs of the past, and debunks many myths surrounding festivals of the present, to illuminate the history of the calendar year we live by today.
From Frida Kahlo and Elizabeth Taylor to Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and Lena Dunham, this witty narrative explores what we can learn from the imperfect and extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world. Smart, sassy, and unapologetically feminine, this elegantly illustrated book is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history. Best-selling author Karen Karbo (The Gospel According to Coco Chanel) spotlights the spirited rule breakers who charted their way with little regard for expectations: Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Edie Sedgwick, Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, and Shonda Rhimes, among others. Their lives--imperfect, elegant, messy, glorious--provide inspiration and instruction for the new age of feminism we have entered. Karbo distills these lessons with wit and humor, examining the universal themes that connect us to each of these mesmerizing personalities today: success and style, love and authenticity, daring and courage. Being "difficult," Karbo reveals, might not make life easier. But it can make it more fulfilling--whatever that means for you. In the Reader's Guide included in the back of the book, Karbo asks thought-provoking questions about how we relate to each woman that will make for fascinating book club conversation.