16th century, Arts

A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

By Alice Theobald In executing a fictional will, sixteenth-century poet Isabella Whitney not only presented a defence of women's legal legitimacy but also externalised herself into the city, channelling her personal impulses into the physical structures and material goods of her London. However, rather than reducing herself to a commodity, she uses her distribution of… Continue reading A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

18th century, Arts

‘Nature is the nurse of sentiment’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Scandinavian Travelogue

By Alice Theobald So much more than an exercise in travel writing, Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark accounts her unrequited love for her supposed partner, Gilbert Imlay. Reading more like a tragedy in epistolary form, Wollstonecraft’s account of the landscape is interwoven with personal reflections on her… Continue reading ‘Nature is the nurse of sentiment’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Scandinavian Travelogue

19th century, 20th century, Humanities

Beatrice Webb: Progressive Politics and a Pragmatic Outlook on War

By Alice Theobald Beatrice Webb – co-founder of the London School of Economics – had a notoriously pragmatic approach to social affairs, coining the term ‘collective bargaining’ to describe the relationship between employers and employees negotiating working conditions. Cousin to social philanthropist Charles Booth, Webb immersed herself in aiding his research on Victorian urban slums… Continue reading Beatrice Webb: Progressive Politics and a Pragmatic Outlook on War

19th century, Arts

An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

By Alice Theobald Termed by Brigitte Hamann ‘a woman who refused to behave according to her rank’, Empress Sisi’s somewhat playful audacity was always at odds with the official role of Empress of Austria she assumed at the tender age of sixteen. Her childhood spent at Possenhofen Castle fostered an unrestrained environment with few rules… Continue reading An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Humanities, Interviews

Interview with Professor Martha Nussbaum

Alice Theobald interviews Martha Nussbaum American Philosopher Martha Nussbaum is the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and the Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago.  She has previously taught at Harvard, Brown and Oxford. She has also chaired the Committee on the Status of Women,… Continue reading Interview with Professor Martha Nussbaum

20th century, Humanities

A Life Less Ordinary: Emmeline Pankhurst’s Fight for Equality

By Ellen Wright Emmeline Pankhurst’s life is largely studied in the context of the fight for women’s suffrage in the early 20th century; however, she in fact had a much wider spread of interests and campaigns. By defining Emmeline solely as the leader of the suffragette movement, we are limiting the ways in which she… Continue reading A Life Less Ordinary: Emmeline Pankhurst’s Fight for Equality

19th century, Arts

Madame de Staël – Literature, Society and “Woman”

By Helen Craske “Un homme doit savoir braver l’opinion; une femme s’y soumettre” [Delphine] (“A man must know how to defy opinion; a woman, how to obey it.”[1]) Madame de Staël has been called ‘one of the most important women in history’ (Bowman, in Dixon, 2009, p.9), and this is for her impact over politics,… Continue reading Madame de Staël – Literature, Society and “Woman”

19th century, Arts

Registering Desire: Spousal and Appetitive Imagery in the Religious and Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

By Alice Theobald In a period noted for its ostensible conservatism and censorship of linguistic taboos, Christina Rossetti is often taken as paradigmatic of this aversion towards the open expression of sensuality and female sensation. However, her religious poetry in fact displays a marked tendency towards images of physical desire, appropriating the language of erotic… Continue reading Registering Desire: Spousal and Appetitive Imagery in the Religious and Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

20th century, Science

What was a girl to do? Rachel Parsons (1885–1956): engineer and feminist campaigner

By Henrietta Heald What was a girl to do in the year 1900 if she wanted to become an engineer? It helped to have a father called Charles Parsons, whose creation of the steam turbine had marked him out as an inventive genius – to say nothing of a star-gazing grandfather who had built a… Continue reading What was a girl to do? Rachel Parsons (1885–1956): engineer and feminist campaigner