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Letters of Great Women

Extraordinary correspondence from history’s remarkable women

This beautiful hard back book, Letters of Great Women, is a collection of illuminating and inspiring conversations from women throughout history. It contains, where possible, copies of the original letters set down, which are then transcribed. With Cleopatra, we see the original papyrus she had written on, and read the message she was sending.

The lay out of this book is professional. We are introduced to the character, given a short history of her achievements, then shown the original letter she has written, which is typed for clarity. In later years the information is followed by a photo giving us a visual reference as well as the written word.

It is a joy to read these letters. From the pen of Jane Austen to her brother Frank, we discover all the local gossip, and smile when at the end of the letter she reminds him to “Brush your hair, but not all off.” Some of the notable women in this book are: Katherine of Aragon, Abigail Adams (wife of the US President), Mary Anning, George Elliot, Charlotte Bronte, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Virginia Woolf, Barbara Hepworth, Greta Thunberg, and Beverley Ditsie.

Each of these women has a message to impart, be it political, as Abigail Adams to her husband, or commercial from Julia Cameron, promoting her photographs for inclusion in an exhibition, or promotion of women studies in Medicine, by Sophia Jex-Blake. Mary Church Terrell wrote to Mrs Stuyvesant Fish to ask for a kindergarten to educate young black children, and Virginia Wolf has written an eyebrow raising letter to Bernard Shaw.

In reading these letters, we get an insight into the lives and social climate that surrounded these women. With the more modern letters, we can squirm and ponder what future generations will think of our actions.

Author Lucinda Hawksley
Publisher Welbeck
ISBN 9781787394490
Distributor Allen & Unwin
Released November 2021