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Richard Vinen ponders the political significance of two of France’s most potent female icons and finds there is more to them than meets the eye.

In the first of a new series looking at ways in which women have challenged the orthodoxies of their times, Amanda Foreman tells the story of the Stuart courtier, Frances, Countess of Essex.

Volume: 64 Issue: 1 2014

The Foreign Office was long a bastion of male chauvinism. Only during the Second World War did women diplomats begin to make their mark.

Volume: 64 Issue: 8 2014

Joanne Bailey argues that gender history is no faddish digression from the historical route, but an advanced tool of analysis that is here to stay.

Volume: 64 Issue: 6 2014

A BBC drama from 1974 highlights the tensions in writing feminist history.

Volume: 64 Issue: 11 2014

Adopting the guise of a man was a path to influence for medieval women. It could be a dangerous one, too.

Volume: 64 Issue: 2 2014

Jad Adams considers the actions of the militant British suffragette movement and its far-reaching impact on the global struggle for female suffrage in the 20th century.

Volume: 64 Issue: 9 2014

Sarah Gristwood considers some earlier female MPs who might have given Mrs Thatcher a run for her money.

Volume: 63 Issue: 6 2013

Martin Pugh reconsiders the motives and impact of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

Volume: 63 Issue: 6 2013

Kate Cooper reassesses Brent Shaw’s 1994 article on women in the early Church, which reveals a key historical principle.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Syrie Maugham was a businesswoman and beauty whose interior designs became a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic. However her relationships with a series of prominent men left her personal life in tatters. Frances Larson tells her story.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

Christopher Allmand examines Alain Chartier’s Le Livre des Quatre Dames, a poem written in response to the English victory at Agincourt, and asks what it can tell us about the lives of women during this chapter in the Hundred Years War.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

As the erotic novel appears to be experiencing a renaissance Julie Peakman reflects on 18th-century appetites for pornography.

Volume: 62 Issue: 12 2012

In the Middle Ages, with the re-emergence of Salic Law, it became impossible for women to succeed to the throne in most European kingdoms. Yet between 1274 and 1512 five queens ruled the Pyrenean kingdom of Navarre, as Elena Woodacre tells their stories.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

Richard Almond has trawled medieval and Renaissance sources for insights about ladies’ riding habits in the Middle Ages and what they reveal about a woman’s place in that society.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

Patrick Williams reveals the courage of Henry VIII's Spanish wife.

Issue: 69 2011

Courtly love, celebrated in numerous songs and poems, was the romantic ideal of western Europe in the Middle Ages. Yet, human nature being what it is, the realities of sexual desire and the complications it brings were never far away, says Julie Peakman.

Volume: 61 Issue: 8 2011

Robin Waterfield looks at the influence of the mother of Alexander the Great in the years following her son’s death.

Volume: 61 Issue: 8 2011

R.C. Richardson describes the fortunes of young women driven by poverty into domestic service in early modern England. A number fell victim to predatory masters and ended up with illegitimate children, only to be ejected form households into penury or, worse, executed for infanticide.

Volume: 60 Issue: 2 2010

The idea of a female monarch was met with hostility in medieval England; in the 12th century Matilda’s claim to the throne had led to a long and bitter civil war. But the death of Edward VI in 1553 offered new opportunities for queenship, as Helen Castor explains.

Volume: 60 Issue: 10 2010

R. E. Foster sifts myth from reality in the life of the 'Lady with the Lamp', who died 100 years ago.

Issue: 66 2010

‘Complex marriage’, ‘male continence’ and the selection of the perfect partner were all themes propounded by a 19th-century cult in New York State. Clive Foss explores the influence of Plato’s Republic on John Humphrey Noyes and his Perfectionist movement.

Volume: 60 Issue: 12 2010

Sex, scandals and celebrity were all part of a blame and shame culture that existed in the 18th century, one that often fed off the misfortune of women at the hands of men. Julie Peakman looks at how prostitutes, courtesans and ladies with injured reputations took up the pen in retaliation.

Volume: 59 Issue: 8 2009

Patricia Fara recounts the moving story of a gifted contemporary of Isaac Newton who came to symbolise the frustrations of generations of female scientists denied the chance to fulfil their talents.

Volume: 59 Issue: 4 2009

Eamon Duffy explores the relationship between Mary I and her Archbishop of Canterbury Cardinal Pole. Pole’s advice to his queen about attitudes to Henry VIII and in dealing with heretics show he played a far more energetic role in the restoration of the ‘true religion’ than he has been given credit for.

Volume: 59 Issue: 5 2009

Michael Scott looks at how a time of crisis in the fourth century BC proved a dynamic moment of change for women in the Greek world.

Volume: 59 Issue: 11 2009

On the centenary of her election as Britain’s first female mayor, Andrew Mackay looks at the life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

Volume: 58 Issue: 11 2008

Jim Downs says that the Democrats should blame history for the dilemma they face in having to choose between Clinton and Obama for this year’s presidential nomination.

Volume: 58 Issue: 5 2008
Mari Takayanagi, archivist at the Parliamentary Archives, explains the significance of the Life Peerages Act,1958.

Frances Borzello seeks to explain the rise of women’s clubs in London before the First World War – and their equally swift demise.

Volume: 58 Issue: 12 2008

Mary wedded Francis, Dauphin of France on April 24th, 1558.

Volume: 58 Issue: 4 2008

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