Monday, 2 March 2009

bluestocking heroines

The bluestocking's heroines may include:
  • Flora Poste - The Higher Common Sense - need we say more?
  • Stella Gibbons, wit, author, genius
  • Granny Weatherwax - for sheer attitude (fictional witch)
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas - proper bluestocking names
  • Leonora Carrington - fabulous paintings
  • Radclyffe Hall - rather too keen to be a chap, but splendid taste in hats
  • Celia Fiennes - lady explorer
  • The Pankhursts, and all the Suffragettes
  • Mary Wollstonecraft - early feminist
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - first SF writer
  • Augusta Ada Byron - lady genius and programmer of the Babbage Difference Engine
  • Amelia Earheart - pilot
  • Josephine Baker - artiste
  • Octavia Hill - co-founder of the National Trust
  • Olive Hawthorn - fictional witch in Doctor Who
  • Gwen Raverat - artist
  • Annie Horniman - occultist
  • Florence Farr - actress & occultist
  • Female occultists generally
  • The Pre-Raphaelite women artists
  • Hypatia of Alexandria - philosopher
  • Marie Curie - scientist
  • Women scientists generally
  • Artemisia Gentileschi - Renaissance artist
  • Dorothy Parker - wit and raconteuse
  • Gertrude von Petzold - first woman to be ordained (Unitarian)
  • Hildegard of Bingen - female mystic & artist
  • Mrs Seacole - female doctor in the Crimea


  1. More heroines and possibly pin-ups(!) of the Bluestocking universe:

    Virginia Woolfe
    Vita Sackville West
    Jeanette Winterson
    Margaret Atwood
    A.S. Byatt
    Simone de Beauvoir
    Elizabeth Anscombe: 1919-2001
    Dame Mary Warnock

  2. and of course, Virginia Woolf... ;-)

  3. Amen to Vita Sackville West, Jeanette Winterson, A.S. Byatt, and Simone de Beauvoir.

    You missed out Angela Carter (and so did I!) Also Ursula Le Guin and Ursula Fanthorpe.

  4. Gail Trimble!

  5. Definitely! She should be a heroine AND a pinup!

    "the 'bluestocking' – a clever woman unbothered by looks or fashion sense. " And why should she be? She has more interesting things to think about.