Hidden historical heroines (#07: Lola Montez)

  Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1818 – 17 January 1861) – better known by the stage name Lola Montez – was an Irish-born dancer who found world-wide fame on the stage and as a courtesan.  Her mother, Elizabeth Oliver, was the daughter of an Irish MP. She married a solider – […]

Hidden historical heroines (#06: Arbella Stuart)

  Lady Arbella Stuart (1575 – 25 September 1615) was an Elizabethan and Jacobean noblewoman, considered by many of her contemporaries to be the rightful heir to Elizabeth I.   Arbella was the only child of Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox, (of the third creation), and Elizabeth Cavendish. Her father’s mother was the daughter […]

Hidden historical heroines (#05: Queen Ælfthryth)

  Ælfthryth of Devon (c. 945 – c.1001) was a Saxon Queen: wife, stepmother and mother to a succession of kings. She was in fact the first king’s wife known to have been crowned and anointed as Queen of the Kingdom of England.   To say Ælfthryth was a ‘heroine’ is stretching the usual definition […]

Hidden historical heroines (#04: Peg Woffington)

  Margaret “Peg” Woffington (18 October 1720 – 28 March 1760) was a celebrated Irish-born actress during Georgian times.   Peg was born in Dublin in 1720. Her father – a bricklayer – died when she was young, leaving her family penniless and destitute . Her mother took in laundry, while little Peg sold watercress […]

Hidden historical heroines (#03: Isabella MacDuff)

Isabella MacDuff (c. 1285 – c. 1313) is a heroine of the Wars of Scottish Independence, a series of military campaigns between the English and the Scottish in the latter part of the 13th and early part of the 14th centuries. She was the daughter of the Earl of Fife and became the Countess of […]

Hidden historical heroines (#02: Nest ferch Rhys)

  Nest ferch Rhys (c. 1085 – c. 1136) – or Agnes, daughter of Rhys – was a Welsh princess from the High Middle Ages.   She was the eldest legitimate child of Rhys ap Tewdwr, the last King of Deheubarth, by his wife, Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn, herself a princess of Powys. Both Deheubarth and Powys were […]

Hidden historical heroines (#01: Joan of Kent)

  Joan of Kent (1328 – 1385) was a granddaughter of Edward I. She was lauded by her contemporaries as the most beautiful woman in all of England and is known to history as the Fair Maid of Kent.   When she was just a babe in arms, her father – the Earl of Kent […]