When Frances (Flint) Hamerstrom was born in December 1908, her grandmothers fully expected that she would be presented at court. She was from a well to do family where servants and children were not regarded as people. Her childhood was filled with dancing lessons, horseback riding, travels to Europe and a domineering father and unhappy mother Continue reading Frances (Flint) Hamerstrom – Rich Girl to Wildlife Conservationist
Margaret Elizabeth More was born in Harlech on June 26th 1903, to parents William Henry More and Alice. She had much older siblings, Constance, Jack, Frank, Evelyn and eventually a younger brother, George. The family home was Crown Lodge, in Harlech on the rugged Welsh Coast. Margaret was a great deal younger than the next eldest sister Evelyn, and was undoubtedly an unplanned child. As the girls did not attend school, they instead had a governess, with whom Margaret studied music. Margaret was a natural rebel, and the boredom of life away from a big city necessitated that the siblings created their own entertainment.
Continue reading Margaret More
Vernie Merze Tate was born to Charles & Myrtle K. (Lett) Tate February 6, 1905 in Blanchard, Michigan. Born on her family’s farm in rural Isabella County, as a child Merze walked nine miles to school, time which she spent memorizing poetry or historic battles. Both her maternal and paternal great grandparents were some of the first African American families that settled in the area, coming from Ohio in response to the Homestead Act of 1862. Consequently, Merze grew up with all white classmates and friends in a world that would not always treat Merze, because of her gender as well as her race, with the full respect she deserved. Continue reading Dr. Merze Tate
October 2016 saw the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the event in history during which England gained a new King and a new Royal family. English Heritage led the way with a series of Twitter accounts set up to reveal the thoughts and actions of a collection of people affected by the invasion. One of those accounts was for Matilda of Flanders, the wife of William the Conqueror. I was incredibly relieved that English Heritage included her from the start, not just because history should show the perspectives of women as well as men, but because without Matilda, William’s reign as King of England probably wouldn’t have lasted very long. Continue reading Matilda of Flanders
Who was Catharine Montour? No one really knows. We know that she was an Iroquois woman with a white great-grandfather. We know that she lived in what is now Upstate New York sometime between 1710 and 1804. After that, the stories get confusing, but her legacy lives on.
Her grandmother was also named Catharine Montour, and history often conflates the two. Not to mention all the Noble Savage, or just plain savage, tales that grew up around the younger Catharine. Continue reading Catharine Montour
Sappho was the original female singer-songwriter, an Ancient Greek Carol King or Joni Mitchell, whose songs were so memorable that people were still writing about them and passing them on centuries later.
Today her name is synonymous with lesbianism – indeed the very word ‘Lesbian’ comes from the name of the island where Sappho lived, Lesbos – due to the many lines of her poetry where she expresses strong, and sometimes sexual, feelings for other women. But there was more to Sappho than just her interest in women. Continue reading Sappho