Women

The role and input of women is undeniably central to human existence and to the story of human society. They are generally 50% of the population but rarely the centre of a story; women have often been pushed to the side lines for historical content. The role of women through history and the pressures and behaviours that have pushed their input aside are all explored within this theme. Powerful, influential and significant female characters are explored in detail across the time periods, including queens, and campaigners, while the stories of ordinary women are also explored through themes such as social change, war and religion.

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
Show: All | Articles | Podcasts | Multipage Articles
  • A woman of masculine bravery: the life of Brilliana, Lady Harley

    Article

    Sara Read introduces us to a woman who challenged expectations during the turbulent years of the early seventeenth century. In 1622 a pious young woman with a highly unusual first name, Brilliana Conway, sat at her desk doodling her signature on her commonplace book. She had lofty ambitions for her self-development...

    Click to view
  • Anglo-Saxon women and power

    Article

    Elite Anglo-Saxon women played a powerful role in the religious affairs and politics of their day and were important patrons of learning and culture.

    Click to view
  • Anne Herbert: A life in the Wars of the Roses

    Article

    May I introduce you to Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke? I'm very fond of this modern imagined portrait by Graham Turner, partly because of the colour and detail but chiefly because it conveys a respect for the people who lived in the past and especially for Anne herself. My interest...

    Click to view
  • At home with Amanda Ira Aldridge

    Article

    Stephen Bourne examines the life of Amanda Ira Aldridge, the multi-talented singer, composer and voice teacher. Amanda Ira Aldridge may have lived a quiet life but she was a trailblazer in the world of music. After a career as a concert singer, she became a composer in a male-dominated profession, for which she adopted a male pseudonym, Montague Ring. In her...

    Click to view
  • British Women in the Nineteenth Century

    Article

    A short pamphlet surveying the historical record of rather more than half the population of Britain over a period of a hundred years must of necessity be sketchy and incomplete. The great interest in history of women which has arisen in the last few decades has produced a great deal...

    Click to view
  • British-Army camp followers in the Peninsular War

    Article

    Charles J. Esdaile throws light on a vital part of a field army that receives little study, the ‘baggage train’. The subject of the involvement of women’s involvement in warfare is one that over the past 20 years has become increasingly fashionable, and there is, therefore, a growing literature on...

    Click to view
  • Cinderella dreams: young love in post-war Britain

    Article

    In a lecture given to the Cambridge branch, Carol Dyhouse explains changing attitudes to marriage in the 1950s and 60s. Women teachers in the 1950s and 1960s regularly complained about how hard it was to keep girls’ attention on their schoolwork. Educationist Kathleen Ollerenshaw pointed out that the prospects of marriage,...

    Click to view
  • Dangerous Women of the Scottish Wars of Independence

    Article

    Kate Ash-Irisarri shows how three redoubtable women had significant roles in the difficult and dangerous period of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

    Click to view
  • Fighting a different war

    Article

    2012 Annual Conference LectureFighting a different war: contesting the place of the queer soldier in the mythology of the Second World WarEmma Vickers: Lecturer in Modern British History University of Reading In the mid-1990s, the queer soldier finally became visible. On the streets, gay rights campaigners led by Peter Tatchell...

    Click to view
  • Film: Elizabeth I and Tudor Royal Authority

    Article

    In this film, Professor Sue Doran, Jesus College, University of Oxford, looks at the two main challenges to Elizabeth I's authority: gender and religion. Professor Doran looks at the power of Elizabeth's personality, her relationship with her advisers plus the significance of religion and domestics politics to shaping her reign and...

    Click to view
  • Film: Mary I and Tudor Royal Authority

    Article

    In this film Dr Anna Whitelock from Royal Holloway, University of London, discusses the life of Mary I, the first crowned Queen of England. Dr Whitelock looks at Mary's difficult early life, her submission to Henry VIII and the rise of a warrior princess. Dr Whitelock explores Mary as a courageous...

    Click to view
  • Florence Nightingale and epidemics

    Article

    Richard Bates reveals how the expertise of Florence Nightingale is just as relevant now as it was in her own life-time. Late in 2020, the Merriam-Webster dictionary chose ‘pandemic’ as its word of the year, writing that, ‘it’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period [i.e. Covid-19...

    Click to view
  • George Eliot and Warwickshire history

    Article

    David Paterson explains how George Eliot’s vivid memory of her childhood in north Warwickshire is revealed through her novels. George Eliot, born 200 years ago this year, is one of our greatest novelists, born and brought up in Warwickshire, a county in which she spent the first 30 years of...

    Click to view
  • Gone with the Wind: a great book?

    Article

    HA President Tony Badger examines the historical context which shapes our understanding of Margaret Mitchell’s enduring novel. I had been a historian of the American South for 50 years and like Ringbaum, I had a secret. I had never read Gone with the Wind. As I came up to retirement...

    Click to view
  • Harriet Kettle, Victorian rebel

    Article

    Harriet Kettle had a remarkable life. She was on the receiving end of everything that the institutions of social control in Victorian England could throw at her, but resisted, survived and fought back. Harriet’s defiance earned her references in the records of a workhouse, two prisons, two asylums and, in...

    Click to view
  • Lecture: Suffrage lives, 1866 to 1914

    Article

    When, as a researcher, I was asked to take part in the Historical Association’s Suffrage Resources project and to populate the database for it, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? It offered the opportunity to delve into the archives, reaching back in time to the symbolic beginnings of the organised...

    Click to view
  • Lucy Hughes-Hallett on telling an HA branch about a book

    Article

    Dave Martin interviews the author of Cleopatra: histories, dreams and distortions, winner of the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award.

    Click to view
  • My Favourite History Place: The Beguinage at Bruges

    Article

    Richard Stone introduces us to a quiet neighbourhood in Bruges which has played its part in the development of women’s independence.  Close to the Minnewaterpark, on the fringe of the bustling historic centre of Bruges, with its medieval buildings and atmospheric cobbled streets, the Beguinage is a tranquil haven. Cross the...

    Click to view
  • Out and About in Haworth

    Article

    Kimberley Braxton takes a tour of Brontë country, through Haworth and onto the iconic Yorkshire Moors that were central to Wuthering Heights. Haworth is a place for walkers; even before you reach the breathtaking moors it is likely your legs will already be burning from climbing the steep Yorkshire terrain....

    Click to view
  • Parliament and Votes for Women

    Article

    Workshop Materials from Annual Conference 2014 Saturday - Session 3 - SHPV3 Parliament and Votes for Women - Clare Mullin Outreach Officer for the Midlands An examination of the role of Suffragist and Suffragette  campaigning to secure the vote for women. Including insights and documents from the Parliamentary Archives collection.

    Click to view