Category: england

Hannah More (1745-1833) was a notable English author and philanthropist during the 18th
and early 19th century. She was a leading member of the Blue
Stockings Society, an organisation of intellectual women of the time.

She
was well known in English society for her plays and poetry, as well as for her
anti-slavery activism. She was responsible for founding twelve schools in poor
areas of England and donating the money that helped establish Kenyon College in
the United States.

Nina Bawden (1925-2012) was an English author who was
nominated for the Booker Prize in 1987, as well as the Lost Man Booker Prize in
2010. She is one of the very few writers who have both been nominated and
served as a judge for the prestigious award.

She has written 55
books for children and adults over a career which spanned more than five
decades. In 2004 she was awarded the Golden PEN Award for “a Lifetime’s Distinguished
Service to Literature”.

Sylvia Lawler (1922-1966) was a researcher in the field of human genetics. Her
research focused on leukaemia and trophoblastic disease.

She
was part of the first ever department for the study of human genetics, founded
at University College, London. She became the first female professor at the
Institute for Cancer Research in 1980. She later established the first national
fetal tissue bank in the UK.

Fiona Caldicott (b. 1941) was the first woman to serve as President
of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, as well as its first female
Dean. She was also the Principal of Somerville College at Oxford University.

In 2014, she became
the first National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in the country,
responsible for patient-identifying information within the NHS. She served as
the President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Nora Inayat-Khan (1914-1944) was a British World War
II heroine, and the first Muslim to have this honour.

Of Indian and American descent, she lived in England at the outbreak of the
second World War, and decided the join the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She was
the first woman sent to work as a wireless operator in occupied France, in aid
of the French Resistance. She was captured by the Germans and executed in the Dachau
concentration camp in 1944.

Paula Radcliffe (b. 1973) is a British long-distance runner.
She was once the fastest female marathoner of all time, and held the record for
sixteen years.

She has won the London
and New York marathons three times each, and the Chicago marathon once. She
holds 23 medals in international events, 15 of which are gold.

Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) was an English writer and philosopher,
celebrated today as a pioneer for female authors. Her 1666 work The Blazing
World
is one of the earliest examples of utopian fiction and science
fiction.

She wrote extensively,
poetry, plays and other fictional works, and published them under her own name,
in a time when women still mostly wrote anonymously. She was the first woman
invited to attend a meeting of the Royal Society of London in 1667 – the Society’s
first female member was only inducted, however, in 1945.

Julia Slingo (b. 1950) is a climate scientist
who has been the Chief Scientist of the Met Office in the United Kingdom since 2009.
Other positions she has held include Professor of Meteorology at the University
of Reading, and Director of Climate Research in the Natural Environment
Research Council.

Her research focused
on the causes and effects of climate change, and linked the reduction in Arctic
sea ice to the colder and drier winter weather faced by the UK. In 2008, she
became the first female president of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Jackie
Forster
(1926-1998)
was an author, actress, and lesbian rights activist from London. She worked throughout
her life for better representation and extended rights for homosexual women.

She was not
aware of her own sexual identity for a long time, but eventually came out
publicly in 1969, joining the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. She was one of
the founders of Sappho in 1972, one of the longest-running lesbian publications
in the UK.

Marianne
North
(1830-1890) was
a biologist and botanical artist, working in Victorian England. The North
Gallery in Kew Gardens, London, is named after her, and is the only permanent
solo exhibition by a female artist in Britain.

She travelled extensively
and captured botanical subjects from all over the world in her paintings. These
works were praised for their scientific accuracy and their ‘purity and
brilliancy of colour’. The gallery that bears her name opened in 1882 and can
still be visited today.

Above: Olearia
argophylla