Category Archives: 19th Century

Mary McLeod Bethune – Educator & Civil Rights Shero

Mary Mcleod Bethune was an amazing woman; an African-American teacher, who started her own school for girls from scratch and went on to be an advisor to presidents, campaigner for civil, and human, rights and champion of girls and young people.

Mary was born in 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina, she was the fifteenth of seventeen children, and her parents were former slaves. From a very young age Mary worked in the fields with the rest of her family. Mary was the only child in the whole family who was lucky enough to go to school; she had to walk eight miles there and back, to a school which only had one room, and was only for black children. Because no-one else in her family could attend, she would come home from school each day and pass on what she had learned to her brothers and sisters.

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Dame Ethel Smyth: Composer and Suffragette

Ethel Smyth was a composer, suffragette and writer known for her passionate public and private life.

Born on 23rd April 1858 Ethel developed an interest in music from a young age. At 12, when she learned that her governess had studied music at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, she decided that was where she needed to go.

Unfortunately her father saw things differently, and was completely against the idea. He even stopped her music lessons to try and change her mind. Ethel was having none of it, and over the next seven years she persistently pressured her father; refusing to eat, locking herself in her room, skipping church and other social occasions until he finally gave in! At the age of 19 she finally left to attend the music school.

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Bhikaiji Cama – ‘Mother of the Indian Revolution’

Bhikaiji Cama was an important figure in the movement for an independent India. Known to some as ‘Madam Cama’ and others as ‘The Mother of the Indian Revolution’.

Bhikaiji Sorab Patel was born on the 24th September 1861 into British-ruled India. Her young life was fairly uneventful; raised in a privileged family,  she did well at school and had a flair for languages.

In 1885 she was married, and her name became Bhikaiji Rustom Cama. Unfortunately this marriage wasn’t very successful. By this time in her life Bhikaiji had begun to have strong feelings about the British rule of India, and had become very interested in the Indian Nationalist Movement which campaigned for a free and independent country. Sadly her husband didn’t share her views, he was pro-British and enjoyed the benefits this gave him. Eventually, and controversially for the time, she left him.

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Emily Davies

Sarah Emily Davies was born on 22nd April 1830 in Southampton, England. She helped start the first college in England for women.

Emily Davies was involved in women’s rights throughout her life. She edited a magazine which focused on women’s rights called The English Woman’s Journal, and was one of a number of like-minded women who formed The Kensington Society, a group where where they met to discuss equality issues such as the right to vote and the right to education.

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Badass Wimmin of History presents Sophie Germain

Badass Wimmin of History is a comic/zine/completely legit History journal, written and drawn by Holly Cruise (@hollyzone). Holly came up with the idea after years of aimless doodling and near-constant banging on about History, the interesting people in History, and the unfortunate way women in History often lose out as the spotlight is shone elsewhere by many mainstream historians.
Badass Wimmin of History is a bi-monthly (ish) comic/zine which wants to present the lives of interesting women in a passionate, at times irreverent, but always historical way. It isn’t just a place for queens and ladies (although there is space for them too) but for scientists, soldiers, actresses, writers, pirates, mathematicians, sports stars, singers, inventors, pilots… the list is huge, probably because women have been busy doing things and being interesting for as long as humans have been around. Funny that.
Details of how to get your hands on a copy (or twenty) of issue 01 of Badass Wimmin of History can be found here: http://hollyzone.co.uk/2014/02/25/badass-wimmin-of-history-issue-01/
Here is a taster of the sort of thing BWoH contains. The life of French Mathematician, Sophie Germain (1776-1831).

websample 01 page 01

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Louise Otto-Peters

 

On this day in 1819 Louise Otto-Peters was born. A German writer, feminist, poet & activist she said, “History of all times, of today especially, teaches that women will be forgotten if they forget to think of themselves.”

She started a newspaper called ‘Women’s News’, which had written on the front “I am recruiting females citizens for the realm of freedom!”
Louise Otto