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Bloody Brilliant Women: The Pioneers, Revolutionaries and Geniuses Your…

by Cathy Newman

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533431,928 (3.89)3
'A litany of fresh heroes to make the embattled heart sing' Caitlin Moran 'Newman is a brilliant writer' Observer A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn't. For hundreds of years we have heard about the great men of history, but what about herstory? In this freewheeling history of modern Britain, Cathy Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military. While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal and collective achievements mere footnotes in history. We know of Emmeline Pankhurst, Vera Brittain, Marie Stopes and Beatrice Webb. But who remembers engineer and motorbike racer Beatrice Shilling, whose ingenious device for the Spitfires' Rolls-Royce Merlin fixed an often-fatal flaw, allowing the RAF's planes to beat the German in the Battle of Britain? Or Dorothy Lawrence, the journalist who achieved her ambition to become a WW1 correspondent by pretending to be a man? And developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for in vitro fertilisation? Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain. It is a history for women and men. A history for our times.… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
Taking a starting point of about 1880, so modern history of women who made an impact on the British World and British history this is a bit of a whistle stop tour of those people who are often overlooked. It's maddening and interesting and in some ways frustrating as I wanted to know more about several of the women depicted in this and less about some others. Would love to see a hiberno-centric version. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Feb 29, 2020 |
A breezy trawl through some of British women's achievements over the last 150 years. Probably aimed more at millenials or school libraries rather than those who have already read feminist historians or actually lived through some of the events described:) ( )
  SChant | Apr 22, 2019 |
Over the past one hundred and fifty years there have been women at the forefront of all major events in history and promoting social change in the UK. Unfortunately history has tended to have a male-centric view of events and therefore the contribution of women has not really been emphasised. In this polemic Cathy Newman gives the reader a taste of some of these groundbreakers and influencers. It's a fast-paced book and leaves the reader wanting to know a lot more about some! ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Dec 2, 2018 |
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'A litany of fresh heroes to make the embattled heart sing' Caitlin Moran 'Newman is a brilliant writer' Observer A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn't. For hundreds of years we have heard about the great men of history, but what about herstory? In this freewheeling history of modern Britain, Cathy Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military. While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal and collective achievements mere footnotes in history. We know of Emmeline Pankhurst, Vera Brittain, Marie Stopes and Beatrice Webb. But who remembers engineer and motorbike racer Beatrice Shilling, whose ingenious device for the Spitfires' Rolls-Royce Merlin fixed an often-fatal flaw, allowing the RAF's planes to beat the German in the Battle of Britain? Or Dorothy Lawrence, the journalist who achieved her ambition to become a WW1 correspondent by pretending to be a man? And developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for in vitro fertilisation? Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain. It is a history for women and men. A history for our times.

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