search menu

Celebrating 100 Years of Votes for Women

 

Celebrating 100 years of votes for women 

Marking 100 years since women were given the right to vote, English Heritage are taking a look back at the life and work of the women who helped to shape the world into what it is today. Our ‘Women in History’ collection includes literature relating to some of the most distinctive women of the past. From the campaigns held by the Suffragettes to the story of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign and the historical accounts of women that worked in the First and Second World War, there is a book to enlighten everyone about the fascinating roles of women throughout history. Read on to discover the fascinating books in our collection:

 
 
 
 

Boudicca

Boudicca (Boadicea), Leader of the Iceni, is synonymous with rebellion and feminine strength, yet what we know of her is often far removed from the time in which she lived and the early authors

who first wrote about her. In this new study, Marguerite Johnson returns to the original sources and interrogates them in order to unearth what the ancients thought of this most enigmatic

heroine of British freedom. After a concise overview of Boudicca and the British rebellion against Rome, she turns to the writings of Tacitus and Dio and provides an in-depth analysis

of their views on Boudicca and her people. These readings, which form the centrepiece of the book, are followed by an insightful series of readings of Boudicca post-antiquity,

including the scant references to her in the writings that emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire to the most modern re-workings of this most fascinating of historical icons.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages and also one of the most controversial. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there

were rumours about her that were not without substance. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided

over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be eighty-two, but it

was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became virtual ruler of England.

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years

History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power - and has focused on the early years of her reign. But in 1583, when Elizabeth is fifty, there is relentless plotting

among her courtiers - and still to come is the Spanish Armada and the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. We have not, until now, had the full picture.

This gripping and vivid portrait of her life and times - often told in her own words (including details such as her love of chess and marzipan) - reveals a woman who was insecure, human

('You know I am no morning woman'), and unpopular even with the men who fought for her. This is the real Elizabeth, for the first time.

Elizabeth I

Locked in the Tower of London, Elizabeth never expected to become queen. This is her incredible story, from outcast princess to one of England’s greatest ever rulers, who led her country into an extraordinary Golden Age.

Mary Tudor: England's First Queen

In the summer of 1553, against all odds, Mary Tudor was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England. Anna Whitelock recounts the remarkable story of a woman who was a princess one

moment, and a disinherited bastard the next. It tells of her Spanish heritage and the unbreakable bond between Mary and her mother, Katherine of Aragon; of her childhood, adolescence, rivalry

with her sister Elizabeth and finally her womanhood. Throughout her life, Mary was a fighter, battling to preserve her integrity and her right to hear the Catholic mass. Finally, she fought for the

throne. The Mary that emerges from this ground breaking biography is not the weak-willed failure of traditional narratives, but a complex figure of immense courage, determination and humanity.

The Diaries of Lady Anne Clifford

In her diaries Lady Anne Clifford documents both the great and the trivial events of her long life. They cover her life from her childhood days, when she witnessed the funeral of

Queen Elizabeth I, to her last months, when she recalled her past life from her room in Brougham Castle.

 

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

In medieval England, man was the ruler of woman, and the king was the ruler of all. How, then, could royal power lie in female hands? In She-Wolves, celebrated historian Helen Castor tells the

dramatic and fascinating stories of four exceptional women who, while never reigning monarch, held great power: Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou. These

were the women who paved the way for Jane Grey, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I – the Tudor queens who finally confronted what it meant to be a female monarch

Bess of Hardwick

Bess of Hardwick was one of the most remarkable women of the Tudor era. Gently-born in reduced circumstances, she was married at 15, wedded at 16 and still a virgin. At 19 she married a man more than twice her age, Sir William Cavendish, a senior auditor in King Henry VIII's Court of Augmentations. Responsible for seizing church properties for the crown during the Dissolution, Cavendish enriched himself in the process. During reign of King Edward VI, Cavendish was the Treasurer to the boy king and sisters and he and Bess moved in the highest levels of society.

They had a London home and built Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. After Cavendish's death her third husband was poisoned by his brother. Bess' 4th marriage to the patrician George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl Marshall of England, made Bess one of the most important women at court. Her shrewd business acumen was a byword and she was said to have 'a masculine understanding', in that age when women had little education and few legal rights. The Earl's death made her arguably the wealthiest and therefore - next to the Queen - the most powerful woman in the country.

Medieval Women

This is an examination of the lives of women in England from the coming of the Anglo-Saxons and their conversion to Christianity, up to the eve of the Reformation. It looks at women from all

social classes - aristocrats, townswomen and peasants - and their contributions to the worlds of work and faith, literature and learning, as well as sex and marriage, child-care and education. It

considers how particular events could change the roles women played - whether religious (the conversion to Christianity), political (the Norman Conquest), or demographic (the Black Death).

Proud Northern Lady

Anne Clifford died in 1676, full of years and honours, ‘the great wise woman’ of Bishop Rainbow’s funeral oration, ‘fitter for a history than a sermon’. The history had to wait 300 years, for Martin Holmes to write this book, but she was not forgotten and indeed, is referred to as if but recently departed in Craven, where she was born; in Kent where she was mistress of Knole; in Wiltshire, where she saw the rebuilding of Wilton under Inigo Jones; and, most of all, in Westmorland where, in her several ancestral castles, she spent her indomitable old age.

Born in 1590, daughter of Queen Elizabeth’s Champion, the Earl of Cumberland, she had been in succession Countess of Dorset and of Pembroke; but, in any age when women were merely their husband’s obident chattels, she remained steadfastly herself and her father’s daughter. She defied King James, she defied Cromwell and survived them and her husbands to leave an indelible mark and memory in the places and among the people who knew her.

Queen Victoria: A Personal History

In 1837, Victoria came to the throne at the age of 18, a pretty girl, not five feet tall, to preside over what was, perhaps, the most momentous period in British history. During the 64 years of her reign, she saw thrones fall, empires crumble, new continents explored and mapped, while her own country became the most powerful, richest and most highly developed nation in the world.

This in-depth, personal history of Queen Victoria makes an ideal gift for those who loves all things Victorian.

Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress, Queen's Servant

Henrietta Howard, later Countess of Suffolk, was the long-term mistress and confidante of King George II. Described by Swift as a consummate courtier who packed away her ‘private virtues… like cloaths in a chest’, by Pope as ‘so very reasonable, so unmov’d’, and by the world at large as ‘the Swiss’ (due to her apparent neutrality), she remains as fascinating and perplexing today as she was for her contemporaries.

At the age of nine, Henrietta’s idyllic childhood was shattered when her father was killed in a duel. Her mother’s death three years later left her an orphan, and she soon afterwards made a disastrous marriage to Charles Howard, youngest son of the Earl of Suffolk. Having been dragged into poverty by her brutal husband, Henrietta used her own ingenuity and determination to secure a role at the very heart of the royal court. Although renowned for her passivity and mildness, her relations with the Queen became increasingly acrimonious, and she made an enemy of Prime Minister Robert Walpole before eventually resining her position amidst intense political scandal.

As well as providing a fascinating insight into the dynamics of the Georgian court, Tracy Borman’s wonderful biography reveals a woman who was far more than the mistress to the king: a dedicated patron of the arts; a lively and talented intellectual in her own right; a victim of violence and adultery; a passionate advocate for the rights of women long before the dawn of feminism. Above all she was a woman of reason in an Age of Reason. The mark that this enigmatic and largely forgotten royal mistress left on the society and culture of early Georgian England was to resonate well beyond the confined of the court, and can still be felt today.

Emma Darwin: The Wife of an Inspirational Genius

When Charles Darwin published the origin of species in 1859 his place in history was assured, but of his wife Emma little was known. Charles and Emma – Both grandchildren of Josiah Wedgwood- married in 1839, three years after Charles’s return from the voyage round the world in Beagle.

Emma brought a wider cultural dimension to Charles’s life. Through her mother’s family, Emma had acquired a first-hand knowledge of European affairs and many distinguished figures of the period - among them Wordsworth, Byron and Florence Nightingale- were family friends.

As young women Emma and her sisters made the Grand Tour and kept lively diaries, to which Edna Healey has had privileged access, as well as to many unpublished family letters. But most of Emma Darwin’s life was overshadowed by tragedy: the early death of her sister, Fanny, the loss of two of her ten babies, the death of her 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

Emma Darwin’s portrayal by Edna Healey is a perfect example of beautifully researched and elegantly written nineteenth-century history which will fascinate everyone interested in the notion of a ‘wife of fame’

Women in the First World War

The First World War was the conduit for some of the most dramatic changes in the role of women in British society. Suffragettes gave up their militant protests to support the war effort, and from

the moment war broke out women were ready; many had already trained as military and Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses. As more and more men left to serve in the armed forces more and

more jobs, most of them pre-war preserves of men, were taken over by women, from postal deliveries to tram clippies, and delivery drivers to land workers.

Told through historical documents, memoirs, photographs, uniforms and ephemera the authors present a study in empathy of those dramatic times, from women serving as nurses both at home

and on the frontlines, to serving in weapons and other factories throughout Britain, to the uniforms and legacies of these brave volunteers.

Women in the Second World War

When the winds of war blew for a second time the women of Britain answered the call. Many of the first to volunteer had served in World War I, and now they offered their services again,

bringing their daughters with them. During World War II, women proved themselves indispensable to the war effort, serving in both military uniformed units abroad and in home front

organizations through the darkest hours of the Blitz. Illustrated with contemporary black and white and some rare color photographs, documents and ephemera, this poignant and moving book

tells the stories of these women in their own words.
 

Suffragettes And The Fight for the Vote

While the First World War still raged on, another battle was finally seeing some results. In February 1918, British women over the age of 30 finally gained the right to vote in general elections.

The hard-won victory was the result of a long struggle. This book takes up the story in the mid 19th century, when the first petition was presented to Parliament, and traces the fight for the vote

through the work of suffragette organisations and the suffragettes. From peaceful demonstrations to violent campaigns and prison hunger strikes, the story is brought to life through fascinating

historical photos and artefacts.

A History of Britain in 21 Women

They were famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. They all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. Jenni Murray presents the history of

Britain as you’ve never seen it before, through the lives of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, who's lives embodied hope and change, and who still

have the power to inspire us today.
 

Tales from the Queen of the Desert

A woman far ahead of her time, Gertrude gained a first from Oxford at a time when very few subjects were even open to women. She went on to take an active interest in politics before

embarking on her one-woman travels across the Middle East. She chronicled her journeys through Iraq, Persia, Syria and beyond and her important diplomatic work, with characteristic wit and

incisiveness.

Dido Belle: The True Story Behind the Movie

In one of the most famous portraits in the world, a pretty girl is seated in the grounds of Kenwood House, a vision of aristocratic refinement. But the eye is drawn to the beautiful woman on her

right. Pointing at her own cheek, she playfully acknowledges her remarkable position in eighteenth-century society.

For Dido Belle was the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy captain and a slave woman, and had been adopted by the Earl of Mansfield. As Lord Chief Justice of England, Mansfield

would preside over the notorious Zong case- the drowning of 132 slaves by an unscrupulous shipping company. His ruling provided the legal underpinning to the abolition of slavery in Britain.

Star of the Morning: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Hester Stanhope

The dramatic story of Lady Hester Stanhope – a wilful beauty turned bohemian adventurer – who left England as a young woman, unashamedly enjoyed a string of lovers and established her

own exotic fiefdom in the Lebanese mountains where she died in 1839.

Ambitious, daring and uncompromising, Lady Hester Stanhope was never cut out for a conventional life. Born into an illustrious political dynasty, she played society hostess for her uncle, William

Pitt the Younger. After his death, she struck out for unchartered territory, setting sail with her lover for the Mediterranean and Constantinople – turning her back on England, as events would

transpire, forever.

 

The Story Of Queen Victoria

Victoria was just 18 when she was crowned Queen in 1837 - a tiny figure, with a will of iron. She made Britain great and the people loved her for it. But in 1861 tragedy struck, when her husband

Albert died. The little Queen loved dogs and cream cakes and the troops who fought her wars but most of all she loved Albert. Dumb with grief she hid herself away. Suddenly it seemed the

woman who had made the monarchy so strong would destroy it. Could anyone persuade her to be Queen again?

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World: Activity Book

Join some of the world's most inspiring women in this must-have activity book based on Kate Pankhurst's number one bestselling title Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World. Full

of fun and utterly inspiring activities and over 200 stickers.

Write your own stories with Jane Austen, lead a fashion revolution just like Coco Chanel and design your own pyjamas, walk in the footprints of Mary Anning and follow the dot-to-dot to uncover

the skeletons of dinosaurs.

The world is full of amazing women, including you! Create beautiful postcards to send to some of the fantastically great women in your life and use the pages of this book to write down your own

hopes and dreams for how you will change the world.

With accessible information about these brilliant women accompanying each activity, this book is full of fun, over 200 stickers and utterly inspiring activities!

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed History

Fantastically Great Women Who Made History is a celebration of extraordinary women from around the world and how their remarkable lives marched them into our history books. Blast into

space with astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, become a mighty Egyptian pharaoh with the powerful Hatshepsut and make your own voice heard with mother and daughter duo, women’s rights

champion Mary Wollstonecraft and Frankenstein’s creator Mary Shelley.

Illustrated and written by the wonderfully talented Kate Pankhurst, this is the perfect introduction to just a few of the extraordinary women who have made their mark on history.

How will YOU Make history?

Replica Pack: Suffragettes

Many of the equalities enjoyed by the women of England today may not have been possible without the campaigning of the brave women throughout history. This Suffragettes replica

memorabilia pack contains replicas of images, posters and flyers for the all-important processions that were held to secure the equal rights that they fought so hard for.  

This replica memorabilia pack includes: Votes for Women newspaper, Membership card, 1911 poster, Jail letter, Buckingham Palace flyer, Bail notice, Propaganda pamphlet, Hyde Park

programme, Miscellaneous images.

 

   

 

step into England's story