Tag Archives: LGBT History

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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Frances Power Cobbe

Frances Power Cobbe dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of women, children and animals. She spoke out about domestic violence and founded the first organisations to campaign against animal testing.

Frances Power Cobbe was born in Dublin in 1822. She came from a well known family with quite a religious background; her ancestor, Charles Cobbe, had been the Archbishop of Dublin in the 1700s, a very important position at the time.

Frances was the only girl in her family and had four older brothers. While they were allowed a proper education Frances remained at home for most of her childhood, reading everything she could lay her hands on and educating herself. She was sent to a school in Brighton for a couple of years when she was 14, but this was more of a finishing school for girls and she said it did her no good whatsoever. She was pleased when she returned home and could once again return to her books.

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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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