Women's History Month 2021

L-R: Kitty Marion, Aethelflaed, Charlotte, Princess Royal, Matilda de Braose, Queen Elizabeth I,
Beatrice Shilling, Anne Boleyn, Mary Fillis, Empress Matilda. Image: © Jo Romero

To celebrate Women's History Month throughout March 2021, I've brought together my top posts that explore the contributions of women throughout history, starting from the Anglo Saxon times up to the twentieth century. Have a read of the articles below!  

10 history bloggers put forward their favourite historical female figure for Women's History Month, ranging from the ninth to the twentieth centuries. 
Think it was all the men who were murdering their way around London in the seventeenth century? Think again. 

The stories of women accused of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Reading, Berkshire. Shaking fits, spells stuffed up a chimney and fall-outs.
When her cousin took the English throne in her place, the Empress Matilda didn't sit back and watch. Here are the reasons why she's a complete legend.
My portrait of Anne Boleyn, the process behind it - and how I tried to make it historically accurate from the sources and descriptions we have. 

A review of Sharon Bennett-Connolly's book which details the women involved in the drafting of the Magna Carta under King John in 1215. 
My review of Annie Whitehead's book about powerful women in Anglo-Saxon England. 
The debate continues. Despite her 9-year reign (technically) as queen, why do we call her Lady Jane Grey and not Queen Jane I? I enlist the help of a history blogger to explain. 

The process of my portrait of Aethelflaed and why I think it probably looks a lot like her, even though we have no contemporary descriptions of her appearance.
A review of a book which puts African Tudors - including women - on the map in Tudor England. How they came to be in England, which positions did they hold and which challenges did they face? 

My thoughts on the Suffragette Kitty Marion and how things got physical in the fight for votes for women. 
More than four hundred years after her death, Elizabeth I is an icon of strength and a role model in queenship. But how much of this is due to the material legacy she left behind, in portraits, writing and careful image control? 

A hand raised apple pie inspired by the account that Anne Boleyn craved apples in 1533 while she was pregnant with the princess Elizabeth. You'll be pleased to know that clotted cream is actually Tudor, too. 

A summary of some of the accounts from London courts in the fourteenth century. Prostitutes, pregnant women, domestic violence and a premeditated murder of a broker. 

A book review that discusses the events that led to the making of Elizabeth I's personality, the choices she made during her rule and her relationships with others. 
My review of a book that places George III's daughters in the spotlight, exploring their lives, achievements and relationships. 
The grumpy, old, infertile wife of Henry VIII, yes? Well, no. Read about why I think historians have been a tad harsh on Katherine of Aragon and why she wasn't actually any of those things. 
Jane Seymour is stereotyped as the quiet, humble queen who managed to give Henry VIII an heir and somehow didn't get her head chopped off before her tragic death in 1537. But new evidence points to an ambitious woman who usurped the throne from her employer, calculatingly flirted her way to Henry's heart and  managed to survive the Tudor court. 
A fantastic - and funny - book that examines attitudes to sex and sexuality in Stuart Britain. Explores attractiveness, erotica and pubic wigs (yes, you read that right). 
Nuns didn't always follow the rules. This post looks at nuns that rebelled against the traditional expectations - running away, having lovers and even getting pregnant. 

It's about time we looked at Henry's queens as more than their 'divorced, married, died' stereotypes. This post examines each woman as a ruler in her own right.  

What would Hamlet be without Ophelia? Or Macbeth without his wife? In this post I talk about how Shakespeare's women wielded their own power to create the plots and storylines of some of the world's most well-known plays. 

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What part of women's history do you think still needs to be explored? Let me know in the comments below...