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Articles Categorized Women’s History

Kensington Palace: A Home for Princesses & Royal Duchesses

When Victoria became queen in 1837, she immediately moved to Buckingham Palace and demoted Kensington Palace to a residence for members of her extended family and various retainers. THE DUCHESS OF TECK Mary Adelaide was George III’s granddaughter. Prohibited by royal protocol from marrying anyone who wasn’t also a royal, she was a spinster of

Kensington Palace: The First Occupants

For more years than I’m going to mention, I’ve stayed in the Kensington area of London when I travel for my urban fix and British Library research. If you’re familiar with London’s layout, you’ll quickly point out that the library is on the other side of the city. Thankfully, it’s a quick trip on The

Fanny Farmer & Modern Cooking

On August 23, 1902 Fanny Farmer opened her School of Cookery and continued her revolution in American cookery. In order to appreciate her efforts, it’s useful to start with a recipe comparison for Bird’s Nest Pudding. The original 1833 recipe is from The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child. Bird’s Nest Pudding If you

Nylon Stockings: Why or Why Not?

In 2009 journalist Gail Collins wrote a Letter to Young American Women, advising them that if they had come of age in 1960 they would feel more restricted, “if only because you were doomed to spend you days in a skirt, nylon stockings and girdle. (Everybody wore a girdle back then, even Barbie, the individual

Titanic Survivors: The Socialite, The Actress, and The “Unsinkable” Woman

At 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. At 00.25 a.m. the next morning, the Titanic sent out a distress call. At 2:20 a.m. the ship sank. At 4:00 a.m. the Carpathia began picking up the 710 survivors. This is a story about three women who traveled in first class. One

PANDITA RAMABAI’S DAY OF RECOGNITION

Friday, April 5 is the day the Episcopal Church (USA) dedicates to Pandita Mary Ramabai. It’s also the date of her death in 1922. At the time of her birth in 1858, Rama was an unlikely candidate for Christian recognition. Her father was an itinerant shastri who took his family from temple to temple. He

Two Coins: A Sense of Place

My latest book, Two Coins: A Biographical Novel, officially released this past Friday, February 1, 2019. And, I’m excited to share some of the background to Mary Pigot’s story, and how I found it. While doing research for Rama’s Labyrinth, I ran across several references to the case of Pigot vs. Hastie, a civil suit

INGREDIENTS OF AN ALTERED APPEARANCE

Since ancient times women and men have altered their physical appearance to become more attractive to themselves and others. “How ancient?” you ask. Cleopatra used a lip color that got its reddish tint from ground carmine beetles. Before you wrinkle your nose in disgust, consider that modern lipstick formulas contain cochineal or carmine. Cochineal are

Women’s Equality Day

FEMINISM: THE FIRST WAVE The fight for women’s equality in the United States began at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. Advocates worked tirelessly circulating petitions, holding rallies and conventions, and marching in public parades. In this parade, 20,000 women marched in New York City, many of them wearing white as a symbol of purity.

Back to School

Hawaii Public Schools start today, so it seems appropriate to look at how school days have changed over the past one hundred years or so. For example, there is a popular list of Rules for Teachers dated 1915 that makes me wonder why anyone took up the profession. Note the assumption that teaching was a