Maddison (1869-1950) was an English mathematician.
Her work focused on differential equations.
She studied at Cambridge and obtained a first-class
degree result in her Mathematical Tripos Exam, but was not awarded a degree on
account of her gender. She later got a resident mathematics fellowship at Bryn
Mawr College, where she received her PhD in 1896. A few years later, she became
associate professor and assistant to the president of the College. She put
together a thorough list of university courses open to women in Canada and the
(1791-1840) was an English diarist and traveller. She is best known for
her very detailed diaries, of which significant parts were written in code,
covering her lesbian relationships.
She is referred to as “the first modern lesbian” for her open homosexuality,
very uncommon for the time. She was nicknamed “Gentleman Jack” and often mocked
for her masculine appearance. In 2011, her diaries were
added to the register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, not only for
their frank accounts of lesbianism, but also for providing valuable records of
social and political events of her time.
an English author and garden designer. She is known for her award-winning
poetry and novels, as well as for extended correspondence with Virginia Woolf,
with whom she had a well-documented love affair.
wrote a number of novels of great commercial success, as well as numerous volumes
of poetry. She was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for Imaginative Literature on
two occasions. The androgynous protagonist of Virginia Woolf’s popular novel Orlando was inspired by Sackville-West.
Dorothy Levitt (1882-1922) was a
trailblazer for women in motoring. She was the first British female racing
driver and set a number of world records, being called “the Fastest Girl on Earth” or “the Champion
Lady Motorist of the World” by the press of the day.
She first competed in a motor race in 1903, becoming the first English
woman to do so. She set records for water speed and land speed, as well as for
the longest drive by a woman when she drove from London to Liverpool and back
in 1905. She was also responsible for inventing the rearview mirror by
describing its use in her 1909 book The
Woman and the Car.
Boyle (1865-1943) was a pioneer of women’s police
work in Great Britain. She campaigned for women to be allowed to serve as
constables, and established the first voluntary women’s police force in the
country in 1914.
She was a journalist and dedicated
suffragist, practicing investigative journalism for the official newspaper of
the Women’s Freedom League. In 1918, she became the first woman to stand for
election to the UK Parliament, paving the way for female MPs.
was the first wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England for a period of 24 years.
Although this is what she is mostly remembered for today, she was an important
figure of her time in political and cultural circles.
In 1507, she was the ambassador of the
Aragonese Crown to England, which made her the first female ambassador in
European history. She was a patron of Renaissance humanism and encouraged
female education. Thomas Cromwell affirmed about her that “If not for her sex, she could have defied
all the heroes of History.”
Amanda Vickery (b. 1962) is an English
historian and professor. She teaches early modern history at Queen Mary,
University of London.
She holds a PhD in modern history from the
University of London and has won several prizes for her work, including the
Whitfield Prize or the Wolfson History Prize. She is also well known for hosting
a series of BBC history programmes, such as Story
of Women and Art, which was shortlisted for a Scottish Bafta.
Sally Davies (b. 1949) is the Chief Medical
Officer in England, the first woman to hold the position. She specializes in
the treatment of diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
She became the Director-General of Research and
Development for London, and created the National Institute for Health Research.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Mary Moser (1744-1819) was
an English painter known for her portraits and floral paintings. She was one of
the two female founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768.
painting at an early age and won her first Society of Arts medal when she was
14. After her death, the next female member elected to the Royal Academy was Laura
Knight in 1936, more than a century later.