Women’s History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Long Hair is Dead, Long Live the Bob – An Exploration of The Defining Hairstyle of the 1920s

‘Short hair is not a whim of fashion; it is significant for an adaptation to modern existence,’ so proclaimed hairdresser Monsieur Eugène in 1929 (Britannia and Eve, August 1929). In this special blog, using pages from the British Newspaper Archive, we explore one of the most iconic fashions of the 1920s – the bob. We look at its cultural impact, its most famous wearers, and how women achieved and maintained the perfect bobbed style. Want to learn more? Register now

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‘All These Barriers are Broken Down’ – Five Remarkable Women Who Shaped the 1920s

The 1920s were time of greater freedoms and liberation for women. They cropped their hair, their dresses got shorter and shorter; it was socially acceptable for them to drive, drink and smoke. But such freedoms would not have been possible without the pioneering women who not only shaped the decade, but the many years to come. Graphic | 27 July 1929 In this special blog, using the British Newspaper Archive, we take a look at five of these remarkable women and

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The Murder of Countess Teresa Lubienska – An Unsolved Underground Mystery

Reading like a 1950s noire novel, or a Cold War thriller from the pen of John le Carré, the murder of Polish aristocrat Countess Teresa Lubienska on the platform of Gloucester Road Underground station shocked the nation, and provoked a massive man hunt that saw 18,000 people interviewed over the following months. Belfast Telegraph | 25 May 1957 Using contemporary articles found in the British Newspaper Archive, we explore the circumstances of Countess Lubienska’s murder, the possible motives behind her killing,

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Ninette de Valois – Godmother of English and Irish Ballet

Prima ballerina, choreographer, teacher and business woman, Irish born Dame Ninette de Valois was instrumental in raising the global profile of British ballet, founding the company that would become the Royal Ballet, and nurturing the talent of some of the country’s most famous dancers, including Alicia Markova and Margot Fonteyn. In this special blog, we take a look at de Valois’ early years, her rise to prima ballerina, and her shift into production and choreography, using pages from the British

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added an impressive 147,928 new pages to The Archive, covering exactly one century of news. We have added five brand new titles this week, with four of these new additions being Scottish publications. Joining The Archive is the Alloa Journal, the Forfar Herald and the Dalkeith Advertiser, as well as the Clyde Bill of Entry and Shipping List. The latter title was published by the Custom House in Glasgow, and recorded the declarations of goods being imported and

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 102,572 new pages to The Archive, and we continue to add brand new and exciting titles to our collection. This week sees the addition of new title The Queen to The Archive. The Queen, or to give it its full title, The Queen, The Ladies’ Newspaper and Court Chronicle was established as a society magazine by Samuel Beeton in 1861, and followed the goings-on of high society and the British aristocracy. We currently have the years 1887 to 1896

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Single versus Married Ladies – Women’s Cricket in the 1800s

The first recorded mention of women’s cricket was in 1745, in Surrey. We searched our Archive for early mentions of women’s cricket, and we came across a treasure trove of articles describing the early history of the sport. Harrow versus Pinner | Graphic | 18 August 1888 One of these comes from the Sherborne Mercury, published in August 1849. It describes a match between ‘nine married ladies’ and ‘nine single ladies’ played at Picket Post, in the New Forest. The single ladies

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‘A Hard Lot to Labour’ – A Look at the History of Straw Plaiting in Rural Britain

If you’ve got an agricultural labourer in your family tree, chances are you’ll have an ancestor who practiced straw plaiting. Straw plaiting was a cottage industry that saw its heyday in eighteenth and nineteenth century rural Britain, and was in the main part practiced by women and children. In this special blog, using articles and pictures from The Archive, we’ll take a look at the history of this discipline, from its heyday to its eventual decline. An article in the

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‘To Be Queen o’ the May’ – The History of the May Queen

In this special blog we use the remarkable photographs and illustrations contained in our Newspaper Archive to trace the tradition of the May Queen over one hundred and fifty years, as well as exploring the origins of this fascinating ritual. We start out at Wymering, just outside of Portsmouth, in 1867. It was here, in the ‘latter part of the month of merrie May’, that a May Queen was crowned. The Illustrated Times tell us that the event is looked

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The Mysterious Affair of Elizabeth Canning

On the first day of January 1753 maidservant Elizabeth Canning disappeared. She returned to her mother’s house some twenty-eight days later, emaciated and bedraggled, claiming that she had been held in a room against her will. As the case went to court, and her captors were arrested, many came to disbelieve Elizabeth Canning’s tale, resulting in Canning herself going on trial for perjury. In 1754 the Manchester Mercury comments on the question of whether ‘Elizabeth Canning is or is not

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