Heroes of History: Annie Besant?

My last post was about the ‘East End Women’s History Museum’ that turned into a Jack the Ripper museum, because apparently women are only interesting if they’ve been murdered. This got me wondering who you would include in a real feminist history of the east end. So I did a little investigation, and came up with the gloriously eccentric Annie Besant. She had a very interesting and varied life, but although she did some terrific things she also did some pretty questionable things. I’m not sure that she qualifies to feature as one of my ‘Heroes of History‘. Besant therefore gets to be a ‘hero of history – QUESTION MARK???’

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Heroes of History: Thomas Wakley

Have you ever gone to hospital for an operation and wondered whether your surgeon had any kind of training? Ever wondered whether your baby’s food is poisonous? Ever wondered whether coroners actually know anything about the causes of the causes of death, or whether they just make something up? No?? Say thank you to Thomas Wakley – boxer, surgeon, editor, coroner, MP, and one of the nineteenth century’s greatest heroes!!  Continue reading

Celebrate International Women’s Day with historical heroine Elizabeth Garrett Anderson!

In honour of International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate one of the most inspirational women of the nineteenth century – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

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14th February Special – Happy Birthday John Hunter!

Ah, February 14!! A day long associated with flowers and hearts – beautiful dissected hearts, pickled in jars!! Because, of course, today is the 286th birthday of John Hunter, the godfather of modern surgery. Continue reading

Heroes of History: Grace Darling

Grace darling to the rescue, image from the RNLI museum

Grace Darling was a Victorian heroine.  She was a lighthouse keeper’s daughter who helped her father in a daring and dangerous rescue of shipwreck survivors off the coast of Sunderland. During her short lifetime she was a media celebrity. To this day she retains an enduring popularity. Continue reading