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Tag Archives: Women

The women who succeeded

Early Australian history is usually told as a male-dominated story, and it is remarkable how often this is a story of male failure – Burke and Wills et al. The women who do appear are usually painted in lurid colours as prostitutes and slatterns, or as the odd lonely, isolated …

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An intellectual road

In the second volume of the memoirs of Jill Ker Conway, first female president of Smith College, she has just arrived in America. She starts off being perhaps unsurprisingly gushy about Harvard, after Fifties Sydney: “Within weeks I began to see myself as perfectly normal, like all the other lively …

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More on Maureen Dowd

Shame on me. For all my complaints about Maureen Dowd, I somehow failed to notice that she was the only regular female columnist at The New York Times. For that, shame on the Times. In her column today Dowd points out that the Washington Post also has only one female …

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Not about Mona’s smile

I’ve never really gotten into the Mona Lisa; its iconic status seems so much a matter of historical accident rather than any reflection on its merits, and trying to see it in the Louvre is such a scramble that it hardly seems worth the effort. But I was fascinated to …

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Agnes’s problem

It was 1658. Agnes Bowker, 27, a spinster and domestic servant found herself with a difficult, but hardly unusual problem ...

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Bullying (and bullied) girls

Two books about the horrible things done to girls, most often by other girls. One is the application of the label “school slut”. Now I think about it, every school, college and similar collection of adolescents or young adults with which I have been involved had a school slut, or, …

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The King’s Midwife: great book, great woman

I’ve already found one of my books of 2005, The King’s Midwife: A History and Mystery of Madame du Coudray, by Nina Rattner Gelbart. On my site is the map assembled by the author (from ten years of research, primarily in French provincial archives) of the travels of Mme Coudray …

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ODD GIRL OUT

Some women derive the most perverse pleasure watching their object of ridicule squirm, cry and otherwise become unhinged.

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Single Women: Still Pitied in Print

Phoebe Hoban looks at two new books on single women, and finds the tone defensive: defending that which no longer needs defending: Consider two books on the subject that have just come out this month that try to validate this lifestyle both historically and anecdotally, as if it were a …

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