BFTP Friday Hoyden: Emma Goldman

Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency have launched a terrific new series called #OrdinaryWomen: Daring to Defy History. The first episode is just up, and it’s about legendary political activist Emma Goldman. This makes it seem like a good time to… Read More ›

Friday Hoyden: Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman was a Russian Jewish immigrant to the USA, who spent her life being persecuted for her work campaigning for the rights of workers and marginalised groups of all kinds.

Somebody’s Having a Birthday

It’s Shakespeare! Today is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Probably. Nominally. Well, we know he was baptised on the 26th, and it was usual for that to happen about three days after the birth. Also he died on April 23rd, 52 years later, so it appeals to our sense of symmetry.

Friday Hoyden: Hortense Mancini

Hortense Mancini was married at fifteen to one of the richest men in Europe, who turned out to be an obsessive, violent, controlling abuser. She found a way to escape, and to live the rest of her life with an exuberance that would be difficult to match.

Friday Hoyden: Héloïse d’Argenteuil

The second in my set of Three Wise H’s. Poor, tragic Heloise was one of the great minds of the twelfth century. Eventually Abbess of the Oratory of the Paraclete, she was not a nun by vocation, but through the medieval systems of sexual repression and ultra-strict gender role enforcement, along with a good sized dollop of bad luck.

Friday Hoyden: Hellena in Aphra Behn’s “The Rover”

The Rover is one of the all-time great Restoration comedies. One of the greatest silly romps of any era of playwriting, in fact, because it has everything: disguises, sword fights, carnival, a girl dressed as a boy, thwarted lovers, drunken shenanigans, sex, danger and a jilted courtesan. And its heroine, Hellena, is the ultimate witty wench.