Catharine Macaulay – ‘The patroness of liberty’

Biographical dictionaries of the time called her “the patroness of liberty”. An advocate for freedom and human rights, many people considered her to be eccentric, particularly after her second marriage to William Graham which created something of a scandal (he was 26 years her junior and there were rumours that Catharine had been involved with William’s brother before the marriage).

Catharine had been fortunate enough to be privately educated and had been inspired by studying Roman and Greek history.

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Gabriela Mistral

Born 7th April, 1889 was the Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral.

Born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, she published her poetry under the name Gabriela Mistral. In 1945 she became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and remains the only Latin American woman to do so.

As well as a poet, Gabreila was an educator, a feminist, and was involved in politics throughout her life. She argued for the right to education for children, she spoke up for the rights of women and the poor, and believed strongly in peace and democracy. She defended those who were oppressed and used her essays, poetry and newspaper articles to draw attention to their plight.

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Khutulun: Wrestling warrior Shero

I first read about KHUTULUN in an article called ‘7 of the Most Amazing Women You’ve Never Heard Of’ which is what first started me thinking about doing this blog. And indeed until that point I had never heard of this wrestling, warrior, princess.

Khutulun lived in a country called Mongolia over 800 years ago. Her name means ‘moonlight’, and her father, Kaidu, was a powerful ruler whose kingdom stretched far and wide across Central Asia.

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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

Bessie Coleman – Shero of the skies

Bessie Coleman was the first African American female pilot; known as ‘Brave Bessie’ she was determined to achieve her dreams despite the obstacles in her way.

Bessie was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas; a time and a place where being black made life very difficult. Black and white children were not allowed to go to the same school so Bessie had to walk four miles every day just to get to the school that was for the black children. Each year her learning would be interrupted in the summer when she had to work in the cotton fields with her family at harvest time. Despite all this, she thrived at school, reading all she could and excelling at maths.

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Tina Modotti – Revolutionary Photographer

For our first contribution to Sheroes of History, Chiara Bernardi , a PhD student at Warwick University, and her sister Benedetta, who studies photo-journalism and women in Italy, tell us about Tina Modotti:

Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti, or Tina, as she became known, was born in Italy on the 17th August  1896.

In 1898 her family moved to Austria, but then came back to Italy in 1905, when Tina was nine years old. Tina, who couldn’t speak Italian, was a quick learner and soon succeeded in all classes and finished primary school. However, her promising results in school didn’t grant her access to further education; her family’s poor background forced Tina into a job in a spinning mill.

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