In challenging at once the prevailing political attitudes of the time, and the literary ones, Wollstonecraft lays a foundation for her daughter, Mary Shelley, to continue these efforts. Wollstonecraft was arguing for a sense of radical inclusion, that by ironing out the divisions between men and women mankind might become, in her words, ‘more wise and virtuous’, with a greater sense of equality. Wollstonecraft died giving birth to her daughter, Mary, a fact which haunted Shelley throughout her life.
“In the 1820s and 1830s […] theatre productions in London were becoming more elaborate in their setting, dressing and ‘getting up’” (Taylor 1993, 3). Shakespeare productions in the Victorian era were marked by a sumptuous and decadent attention to visual artistry.
By Raffaella Sero On the cover of “Jane Austen the Secret Radical”, a series of grey silhouette portraits of men and women succeed each other, all wearing clothes from the Regency Era, all facing the same direction - except for one, the red silhouette of a woman, sometimes identified with Jane Austen. According to the… Continue reading “L’aimable Jane”?: A conversation with Dr Helena Kelly
By Ana Olendraru Comic artistry is an area often perceived and marketed as primarily male. Popular media presents comic books and their characters as a form of art addressed to young boys or to the stereotypical ‘loveable nerd’, most often a man (e.g. The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular TV shows with… Continue reading The first “truly humorous” female artist: Marie Duval’s satire of the Victorian work ethic
Eleanor Myerson discusses the life and work of pioneering 19th Century Jewish writer Amy Levy
James writes about what impact Melania Trump might have as First Lady by looking back at the remarkable women who have been her predecessors.
Ellen Pasternack talks to Jane Robinson about her book, Bluestockings: A Remarkable History of the First Women to Fight for an Education. Jane Robinson’s Bluestockings paints a story of small victories, of a series of women who each managed to get her foot in the door and leave it open a little wider for those… Continue reading A Conversation with Jane Robinson on Bluestockings
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
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
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.”) 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”