women’s history – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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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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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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Rose Heilbron – Legal Superstar of the 1950s

‘If you want something to write, write about Rose Heilbron. She’s the greatest lawyer in history.’ These were the words of Jack Comer as he left the Old Bailey in September 1955, having been defended by 39-year-old Rose Heilbron QC, and subsequently acquitted. Who was Rose Heilbron? Born in August 1914, she was the first woman to win a scholarship at Grey’s Inn, one of the first two women to be appointed to the King’s Bench, the first woman to

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Maud Arncliff-Sennett – A militant suffragette

Alice Maud Mary Arncliffe-Sennett was an energetic militant suffragette, determined to fight for women’s suffrage even if that meant getting arrested and going against prominent leaders such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Milicent Fawcett.  Through the newspapers, we can find details about Arncliffe-Sennett’s life, career, and activism. Alice, or Maud as she was often called, lived in London and worked as an actress.  Her stage name was Mary Kingsley.  Here is a review by The Era of her performance as Lady MacBeth in ‘that

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Anna Garvey Kelly – an Irish Suffragette

This year, in recognition of the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, we will showcase the lives and activities of women involved in the Suffrage movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Despite making headlines for their activities many of these women are now forgotten. In this blog post we will revive the memory of Irish Suffragette, Anna Garvey Kelly, whose support of the cause of Suffrage saw her spend a month in Holloway prison

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Suffragette Newspapers

This year, 2018, is the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.  The Act which gave propertied women over the age of thirty, and all men over the age of twenty-one, the right to vote.  Over the course of 2018 we aim to digitise several suffragette and women’s newspapers.  These papers will allow us to explore the suffrage movement, and the social sphere of the women who campaigned for the right to vote. We are delighted

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Women and the Second World War

To wrap up our month of military posts, we have one last blog about the contribution of women during the Second World War (1939-1945).  Last week, we explored Women and the First World War.  In 1939, for a second time, Britain found itself embroiled in an international conflict, and women stepped forward to work in civil defence, armed forces, and industry.  Unlike any other country, for the first time, British women were conscripted into service.  On 18 December 1941, the

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Women and the First World War

First Worls War women firefighters

During the First World War (1914-1918), the role of women in Britain was massively altered and the women’s sphere was enlarged in every direction. Some historians mark the First World War as a watershed moment in women’s history when women were looked at less as fragile creatures and more as robust figures.  A single blog post is not enough to explore all the contributions of women during the Great War, but we have combed through The British Newspaper Archive and

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