Category Archives: Articles

The trouble with Women Pirates…

What could be sassier, you might think, than a bold, sexy buccaneer?  Slightly dykey and into a light-hearted touch of woman-led bondage. Brandishing—but with a beautiful smile—a long whip to go with that lethal cutlass. And mmmmm, swashbuckling along the

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, c 1623-1674

by Claire Jones Playwright; poet; natural philosopher. It was famously said of Margaret Cavendish that she was different to the rest ‘of her frail sex’ who, unlike her, ‘have Fruitful Wombs but Barren Brains’. Gender in the seventeenth century The

Women’s access to higher education: An overview (1860-1948)

Women’s struggle for higher education did not begin in the mid-late nineteenth century. There had been calls for women to receive educational opportunities equivalent to their brothers well before, including pleas from notable women including Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673),  Mary Astell

Christine de Pizan and the ‘Querelle des femmes’

By Claire Jones Christine de Pizan’s choices and achievements were highly unusual for a woman in the male dominated culture of the Middle Ages. At a time when unflattering opinions about women were widely spread by writers, sovaldi the church

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

by Claire Jones Writer, feminist and radical; author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Overview Mary Wollstonecraft was a passionate Enlightenment thinker who is generally celebrated as the first major feminist. Her most significant text, A Vindication

Writing wrongs? Women wordsmiths of the 18th and early 19th centuries

By Jennifer C Kelsey. The art of communication has always been important for women. Whether sharing thoughts, relating experiences, voicing opinions, giving advice or creating fictions, one vital means of communication for women in the past was through the written

The Married Women’s Property Acts (UK, 1870, 1882 and 1893)

By Claire Jones These acts were a milestone along women’s route to equality. The legal position of married women for most of the nineteenth century was little short of that of a slave. (This was the way in which philosopher

Octavia Hill (1838 – 1912)

Housing reformer, social reformer, philanthropist and co-founder of the National Trust. By Claire Jones In her time Octavia Hill was an influential and well-known figure, now she is regarded as an important pioneer of female activism in the public sphere.

Prostitution and the Contagious Diseases Acts (1864, 1866 and 1869)

By Claire Jones Overview The passing of the Contagious Diseases Acts, search which stripped poor and working-class women of their rights, healing shocked many respectable middle class women and provoked a major campaign for repeal. The Acts were a legal

Josephine Butler, 1828-1906

by Claire Jones