She was the eldest child of Alfred the Great, she established many towns from Runcorn to Warwick, refortified Gloucester, defeated the Vikings at Chester, Derby and Leicester and would have added York had she not died two weeks before she was due to accept their surrender. She retrieved the relics of St Oswald from deep inside the Danelaw and she raised her illegitimate nephew, Aethelstan, to be the first true King of England.
Unfortunately, her achievements have been marginalised by the Wessex-centric Anglo Saxon Chronicles in favour of her younger brother, Edward the Elder. She accomplished so much in the North after the age of 50, rebuilding the castles she finally inherited.
Hi DJ, thanks for your comment. I wish us we women would be less fanciful when considering our place in history. Now, and for a long while, the world belongs to both of us men and women and boundaries shatter daily. But for the love of St. Pingback: Women in the power behind the throne - English Heritage Blog. Trying to write a university essay on Sophia Ripley, but there seems to be nothing written on her! Anything I find is online or off-handedly mentioned in a book or article about someone else.
The only book I have found about her specifically has been completely impossible to get via ebook or in print in less than 3 weeks I live in the UK, and all copies would ship from the US. So I am feeling this very strongly at the moment. Such an annoying habit of historians. Pingback: 6 stories that we can't wait to tell you in - English Heritage Blog. It is only recently that historians of science, technology and of art are beginning to discover the role women have played in this fields of human endeavour since many centuries.
Today information can be found via internet and via Facebook — and we can be sure much more will come to surface in the future. As a grad student doing research on my thesis on aristocratic British women and marriage 16thth centuries , this article reflects my views. I chose aristocratic women because there are more useful primary sources from that class, but I wanted to show this history from the perspective of women. Oxford is a small city but is connected to the whole world. I am privileged to interview amazing women achievers from 5 continents.
Last month one of the Oxtopians my island is called Oxtopia broke a stained glass ceiling. There are less well known but equally inspirational castaways like courageous under cover video journalist Zoe Brougton, and a force of life transformation for disadvantaged children in Oxfordshire through Exit 7 and in Kenya through the Nasio Trust, Nancy Hunt.
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See for yourself. Epic anglo-irish legend with a lot of myths and superstition. Piracy, magick and the beginnings of British intelligence agencies. Grainne Mhaol was definitely written out of history. Her legacy is mostly spoken in folk tradition in Irish public houses. Tessa L. She inspires me in her speaking strength to power. Kelso had boundless energy and used that energy to make society more aware and more just. I was so interested to read her interview and to see all the fascinating posts, about women in history, on your site. As an older feminist I would like to point out that my generation tried to amend the historical gender bias.
I daresay you know this but I wanted to say it because it is dispiriting to see how often, throughout history, women have tried and tried again and again, to find a place, to deal with harassment and misogyny, Then, something happens patriarchal forces? Back to all posts Why were women written out of history? Do you think women have featured less in history than men have?
Why do you think this is? Share this Post Facebook. Bettany Hughes. Frederick Richard R. These paintings, whose subjects are immediately recognizable, reinscribe the bad reputation Delilah and Eve have acquired over centuries, and one of the questions I want to consider is, To what extent is this reputation deserved? They do not die on the day they eat the fruit, as God had said Gen. Their eyes are opened 3. But they also know that they are naked 3.
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A painting of a biblical scene or story is more than a simple transposition of a text onto a canvas. In some cases, art may even bring to light what the biblical writers are at pains to suppress. I want to know if the way the woman is treated in the painting is the same as the way she is treated in the biblical narrative or if it is different—and how similar, or how different. When artists depict women like Eve and Delilah as, say, devious, untrustworthy, seductive or threatening, are they picking up on clues in the biblical story, or are they reading their own culturally conditioned stereotypes into the story?
They do both, of course. In neither Samson Betrayed nor Eve Tempted, for instance, is the stereotype challenged. Neither woman is nurturing, and neither is cast as a hero of the faith, like, for example, Jael or Judith. The titles of these paintings are interestingly similar: the name of a biblical character—Samson, Eve—and a passive verb: betrayed, tempted. See J. Olyan and Robert C. Culley eds. Does the artist respond to a perceived gap in the text or to questions unanswered by the text? Does the artist add something to the biblical text?
Does she or he, for example, magnify something that is not very important in the biblical version?
Whose point of view does the artist represent and how does this compare to the biblical story? Does the artist involve the viewer in the painting? If so, how? Cheryl Exum and Ela Nutu eds. There is a more striking similarity than the titles of these paintings, however: the two women look very much alike; they are sisters in crime, so to speak. They both have the same red hair, parted in the middle, similar facial features, and the same body type.
Influence of Bible on women
Artists typically portray the scene as one in which it appears that passionate lovemaking has taken place, with Delilah provocatively attired, partially clad or disheveled, and Pickersgill is no exception. It is, is it not, a fairly common view that Eve was a temptress, and the forbidden fruit she offered Adam was sex?
Whatever its other associations, female nudity in the art of the Christian West, as Margaret Miles argues, inevitably carries associations of sexual lust, shame, sin and guilt. Only when gender is engaged as a category of analysis do we begin to see that our impression of the positivity of religious nakedness must be revised to account for female nakedness presented as symbol of sin, sexual lust, and dangerous evil.
In depictions of the naked female body, interest in active religious engagement, exercise, and struggle is often subordinated to, or in tension with, the female body as spectacle.
But the female body ultimately and visibly resisted becoming male, and thus represented the fall of the human race into sin, sexual lust, acquisitiveness, and hunger for power. In short, although religious nakedness generally contradicted social meanings of nakedness, in the case of the naked 8 female body, social meanings were reinforced. The canvas is unusually large It overwhelms the viewer with the spectacle of the scene, and, although we might get the impression that we could easily step into the frame, we would remain spectators distanced from the action, for none of the figures communicates with the viewer.
Samson is asleep, as yet unaware that his strength and his god have left him. We know, of course, and most viewers know what will happen next: the Philistine soldiers will seize him, gouge out his eyes and take him to Gaza as a slave, to grind in the mill. The tension is palpable, with everyone watching Samson expectantly, terrified that he might wake up before his haircut has robbed him of his strength.
William Etty was the leading figure painter of the time, who exercised a major influence on Pickersgill. Presumably they are Philistine soldiers, perhaps the ambushers Delilah had waiting in an inner chamber The matter is not entirely straightforward, however.
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It may be that the man is Samson himself, and Delilah calls to him to make sure he is deeply asleep. In what appears to be an attempt to make sense of it, some ancient versions make the man a barber and have him shave Samson. Dressed in red, with her voluminous breasts exposed, Delilah appears as a prostitute in this rather tawdry, dimly lit brothel. Samson has fallen asleep with his head in her lap, apparently exhausted after spending his passion in fervid lovemaking.
Philistine soldiers wait somewhat apprehensively at the door fig. She still holds the scissors in her hand fig. Here, too, Delilah is depicted as a prostitute with an old madam looking over her shoulder. It seems apparent from the positions of Delilah and Samson on the bed and their state of undress that they have recently made love. See published version for image.
Distancing Delilah from the evil deed in Samson and Delilah fig. She looks at Samson perhaps with regret, perhaps with fondness, and her hand rests almost tenderly on his back. Interpreting facial expressions is always a matter of individual judgment, and a look can have more than one meaning. The procuress and another figure look over her shoulder, while the soldiers wait in the background. She holds out her arm as if reaching for him and their mutual looks of anguish suggest their attachment. But the scissors lie on the floor by the bed, where they appear to have fallen out of her hand—or perhaps she threw them aside.
These variations show something of the wide range of feelings artists attributed to Delilah even when they depicted the same elements of the story. I have tried to indicate something of the variety of views here, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank again those present for their contributions. Pickersgill, Samson Betrayed, detail From the biblical story we know why Samson told Delilah the secret of his strength: he loved her These three times you have mocked me and not told me by what means your strength is great.
Delilah does not betray Samson so much as he betrays himself. What do death, sex and money all have in common? Host Anna Sale talks to people from all walks of life to confront those big questions and topics in addition to family, work and relationships.