Edmonia Lewis – Sculpting Shero

Emonia Lewis was a world famous African American and Native American sculptor. Born in America, she spent most of her career in Rome.

Edmonia was born on 4th July 1844. Her father was Haitian, while her mother was from the Native American Ojibwa tribe. Sadly, by the time she was 9 they had both died, so Edmonia and her brother went to live with her aunts in Canada, where her mother’s tribe came from. While living with them she was known by her native name, ‘Wildfire’, while her brother was called ‘Sunshine’. She helped make traditional baskets with her aunts, which they sold to tourists near Niagra Falls.

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Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole, born in Kingston Jamaica in 1805, was the daughter of a free Jamaican woman and a Scottish solider. Mary’s mother was a ‘Doctoress’ who practiced herbal healing, and Mary inherited an interest in traditional medicine and nursing skills from her, whilst also learning more modern methods from Army Doctors who stayed with her family.

In her earlier years, Mary ran a hotel (which operated like a hospital) for primarily injured or disabled European ex-soldiers, alongside her mother. Here she furthered her nursing and business skills. She married in 1836, but her husband died just 8 years later.

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Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie was a Nobel Prize winning chemist, and daughter of famed scientist Marie Curie.

When it comes to great women from history, almost everyone has heard of Marie Curie, the great scientist who won two Nobel Prizes. Less well known is her equally brilliant daughter, Irène.

Irène was born on 12th September 1897 in Paris where her famous parents Marie & Pierre lived. She went to school when she was 10, but only stayed for a year; her parents had noticed how clever she was, especially at maths and wanted to develop her gift. Marie and other scientists living in Paris at the time formed an educational group which they called ‘The Cooperative’. The scientists took it in turn to teach one anothers children in their homes, it was an amazing start for young Irene. As well as teaching them science at a higher level than at school, they also encouraged creativity, self-expression and play.

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Anna Bugge Wicksell – Women’s Suffrage Activist

When Anna Bugge received an offer of non-marriage from Knut Wicksell, she hesitated. Wicksell did not believe in the institution of marriage, being of the opinion that the legal definition of a wife as the property of the husband degraded women. Anna Bugge agreed, but the step from principle to action was perilous.

Anna Bugge was born in Norway in 1862, and belonged to the first generation of girls to be granted an education almost equal to that of boys. At school she helped form a female debating society, discussing topics such as “What defines a woman, and should one exert oneself to remain feminine?”. (The conclusion: “Every woman’s goal ought to be to get rid of her femininity, and it would be glorious to see the day when this term is deemed old-fashioned”.)

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Lily Parr – Shero shoots, shero scores!

Lily Parr was maybe the greatest female football player who ever lived! In a career that spanned over 30 years she scored nearly 1000 goals!

Lily was born in Merseyside on 29th April 1905. She was the fourth of seven children, and as she grew up she prefered kicking a ball around with her brothers to sitting inside and sewing like most other girls her age. She quickly became adept at both football and rugby, but it was football that was to become her life’s passion. By 1919 she had joined the St Helen’s Ladies football team.

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