Biography

Looking at Lady Rhondda: Businesswoman, Campaigner and Journalist: Professor Angela V. John

In this, our latest great blog post, Professor Angela V. John reflects on her keynote address at the 2019 WHN conference.

I began by looking at how the teenage Margaret Haig Thomas (later Margaret Mackworth and, from 1918, the 2nd Viscountess Rhondda) saw her present and future when she was aged 16.

The first half of this illustrated lecture focused on this professional woman’s life story. The daughter of a very wealthy Welsh industrialist and politician D.A. Thomas, and well-connected Liberal mother, Sybil (née Haig), she grew up in the village of Llanwern in southeast Wales. An excellent education …

Dr Marion Phillips: Sunderland’s First Female MP (1929-1931) by Dr. Sarah Hellawell

Heritage matters! In our latest brilliant blog post, Dr. Sarah Hellawell tells us about Dr. Marion Phillips, Sunderland’s First Female MP and the installation of a blue heritage plaque at the site of the Sunderland Labour Party’s former offices.

Over the last 18 months, I have delivered a number of public talks in Sunderland as part of the suffrage centenary commemorations. Surprised that few people in the audience have heard of Sunderland’s first female MP, I have delved a little deeper into the archival sources on Marion Phillips and her work in the North East of England. One of …

WOMEN IN SPORT : A Timely Fracture in a Sporting Glass Ceiling by Doloranda Pember

In our latest post Doloranda Pember reflects on her book: In the wake of Mercedes Gleitze: Open Water Swimming Pioneer (The History Press, February 2019).

When my mother died in 1981, little did I know of the full extent of her pioneering swimming achievements during her youth in a male dominated world of sport. Mercedes Gleitze was a pioneer open water swimmer in the 1920s and 1930s, and although she rarely spoke to me or my siblings about her sporting feats, thankfully she left a comprehensive collection of press reports, witness statements, photographs and personal letters in suitcases in our …

Gender, Family, and Politics: The Howard Women, 1485-1558 – Dr. Nicola Clark

In this fascinating post Dr. Clark tells us about her important new monograph: Gender, Family, and Politics: The Howard Women, 1485-1558 (OUP, 2018).

The Howard family, Dukes of Norfolk, were the family most entwined with the Tudor dynasty during the sixteenth century. The men were earl marshals, lord admirals, lord treasurers, privy councillors, the king’s jousting buddies; the women, queen consorts of England (Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard), ladies-in-waiting, the godmothers of royal children. Generally, people talk about families like the Howards exactly as I have just done – as collectives. In many ways this is logical. Political dynasties …

Labour Women in Power: Cabinet Ministers in the 20th century – Dr. Paula Bartley.

(L-R Margaret Bondfield, Ellen Wilkinson, Barbara Castle, Judith Hart and Shirley Williams)

In this post, Dr. Paula Bartley gives us a sneak peak of her fabulous new book: Labour Women in Power: Cabinet Ministers in the 20th century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

In 1997 Tony Blair appointed the same number of women to Cabinet positions as there had been in the rest of the century. Between 1918 and 1997, only five Labour women held this high office of state: Margaret Bondfield, Ellen Wilkinson, Barbara Castle, Judith Hart and Shirley Williams.

The five who did manage to get to these …