1877 first edition cover. X
Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877.
Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about the life of a horse, told in autobiographical form.
Sewell had been barely able to walk since she was fourteen, when injuries to both her ankles were incorrectly treated, and she was an invalid when the book was written and published.
While she lived to see Black Beauty’s initial success, she died of an illness only five months afterwards.
Reviving an old post, because I like the story!
In the nineteenth century, in the colony of Victoria in Australia, the Electoral Act 1863 was passed. According to the act, “all persons” who owned property were entitled to vote. Though it was not intended to include women in this, there were plenty in the state who did, indeed own property.
In the 1864 elections, some women took advantage of this error and went to the polling stations, where their votes were recorded:
“At one of the polling booths in the Castlemaine district a novel sight was witnessed. A coach filled with ladies drove up, and the fair occupants alighted and recorded their votes.”
The Argus , 5 November 1864, p 4.
The oversight was quickly fixed, and a new law in 1865 once again took voting rights away from women. However, Australia was very early in granting women full voting rights, in 1902.
Elizabeth Gaskell. 29th September 1810 – 12th November 1865.
Second World War recruitment poster.
Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, whose members were known as WAAFs, was formed on the 28th of June, 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Conscription of women began in 1941.
Women in the organisation worked in many fields, from parachute packing to meteorology, aircraft maintenance, and work with codes, in addition to catering and nursing.
Two WAAF cooks at an Royal Air Force aerodrome, following recipes for a hundred pies and a hundred scones. September 1940. X
By 1943 over 2000 women were enlisting a week, bringing the force’s numbers to a peak of over 180 000.
At the end of the war numbers reduced significantly, and the WAAF was turned into the Women’s Royal Air Force in 1949.
I randomly came across this movie when it was on free to air TV a couple of weeks ago, and it was amazing. Based on the life of a real person – and I actually looked up the real woman and was happy to see how historically accurate the movie is – Florence Foster Jenkins tells the story of a Gilded Age New York socialite who, near the end of her life, decides she has what it takes to become a famous opera singer.
The problem? She can’t sing to save herself. She becomes infamous rather than famous.
This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. You laugh and laugh … and then suddenly you’re crying because it really is a tragic story.
Meryl Streep actually trained as an opera singer (something I just learnt), and – much like the character of Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera – in order to sing badly, you first have to learn to sing properly.
The real woman really was an appalling singer, and because she paid to have records of her voice made, you can listen to her even now. She’s even worse than in the movie.
The costumes in this movie are worth your time alone.
Streep was ROBBED of the Oscar for this performance (it went to La La Land that year), and both Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (who is most famous as a sitcom actor, but who is actually a trained concert pianist) were nominated for Golden Globes for their parts. They’re both brilliant, too.
I’m so glad I stumbled across this.
Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, Leader of the Women’s Suffragette movement, is arrested outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to King George V.
The Imperial War Museum dates this photograph as the 21st of May, 1914.
After decades of campaigning, the women of France voted for the first time on the 29th of April, 1945, when municipal elections were held. Legislation for women’s suffrage had been passed in October the year before.
While late, France wasn’t the last European country to grant women the vote. Women’s suffrage came even later in Italy, Greece, San Marino, Monaco, Andorra and Switzerland. Liechtenstein was the last to adopt equal voting rights – only in 1984.
This image from May of 1935 is of French suffragette Louise Weiss demonstrating alongside women holding papers saying The Frenchwoman Must Vote.
Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice was first published on the 28th of January, 1813.
This photograph shows the so-called Great Procession and Women’s Demonstration that took place in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 9th of October, 1909.
Amongst the banners being carried are those calling for Votes for Women. Women in the United Kingdom were not given equal voting rights as men until 1928.