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February 18

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Bloody Mary


QUOTES by Antonia Fraser and Marjorie Hope Nicolson.

Mary I of England

      Born Feb. 18, 1516, Mary I of England - Mary Tudor also known as Bloody Mary, betrothed at six to Philip of Spain, 17 years her elder. Mary was raised in a very strict religious manner and when Henry divorced Katherine of Aragon, Mary's mother, Mary became illegitimate and ineligible for the Spanish throne. Henry subsequently made Mary sign away her rights to the English throne by acknowledging her illegitimacy but the British parliament reinstated her before Henry's death.
      Edward VI succeeded Henry, but was a frail youth and died at the age of 15. Mary assumed the throne for five years and replaced the new Protestantism with Catholicism as the state religion which set off a wave of persecution in an attempt to force the change. More than 300 were said to have been burned at the stake, etc., and the religious blood bath gave her the epitaph of Bloody Mary.
      Since Mary had no children, she was succeeded by her younger sister, Elizabeth I. Mary went from being the Royal Princess (heir to the throne) to bastard, to being shunned by her husband to be, to seeing her mother denigrated...
      It was a childhood from hell.

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B. 02-18-1516, Mary I of England, daughter of Henry VIII, was the first woman to reign England in her own right. An emotionally unstable person, she fell under certain influences and restored Catholicism as the state religion. She became known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants. Since she had no children, she was succeeded by her younger sister, Elizabeth I.

B. 02-18-1850, Kate Chopin wrote vivid, realistic portrayals of Creole and Cajun life through Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Regular contributor of feminist short stories to literary journals and children's magazines. Her bold novel The Awakening (1899) shocked many with its portrayal of a young woman's sexual and artistic longings. She was ostracized and her last years were depressed.

B. 02-18-1851, Ida A. Husted Harper, author. In spite of the violent opposition of her husband (divorced 1890), she wrote but did it under a male pseudonym. She helped organize her state's suffrage society. She became official biographer of Susan B. Anthony.
      IAHH was appointed by Carrie Chapman Catt to head the Leslie Bureau of Suffrage Education and produced a steady stream of letters, articles, and pamphlets that enabled the National American Woman's Suffrage Party to grow to 3.5 million members. In 1922 she published the last of the six volumes of the History of Women's Suffrage which had been begun by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage to preserve the story of how women fought for, and won the vote before HIStorians could erase it.

B. 02-18-1874, Mary Williams Dewson, political reformer. Her studies helped pass the Massachusetts minimum wage law in 1913 (the first in the U.S.), instrumental in the passage of New York State's unemployment insurance program and helped establish minimum wage laws in other parts of the country. While superintendent of the Massachusetts State Industrial School for Girls made statistical studies to better understand the cause and rehabilitation of female delinquency. Chaired the Massachusetts Suffrage league. Served in France with the American Red Cross 1917-1919.
      Florence Kelley made Dewson her chief assistant at the National Consumers' League, moved to the Democratic Party believing that the party's leaders were more willing to pass social legislation.
      Recruited by her friend Eleanor Roosevelt, she organized Democratic women for Alfred E. Smith's campaign of 1928 and did the same for Franklin Roosevelt in his 1930 gubernatorial campaign and later for his campaign for president.
      ER got Dewson a position with the women's division of the Democratic National Committee and in her reorganization she used her influence to get government jobs for women party workers and with ER was probably the most powerful force in gaining the Secretary of Labor appointment for Frances Perkins. Under her tutelage, the women's division became a guiding force of the democratic party. Instrumental in the adoption of the Democratic rule that gave equal representation to women on the platform committee.
      Her appointment to the Social Security Board in 1937 finally got things moving with Congress and she formed a working relationship with the states. Because of heart problems she retired to Maine with Mary Porter with whom she had shared a home since 1913.
      One of the most overlooked and powerful women of the period. Her mother carried the responsibilities for the family because of her father's ill health. She was a member of the famed Heterodoxy which included most of the prominent women of the day.

B. 02-18-1894, Marjorie Hope Nicolson, first woman to hold a full professorship (English) on the Columbia University graduate faculty (1941), first president of United Chapters of Phi Betta Kappa, who said, "(It is) easily possible to be a scholar and a gentleman, but it is hard to be a scholar and a lady... (women) have no wives to look after social contacts and to perform the drudgery for them."

B. 02-18-1922, Helen Gurley Brown, long-time chief editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

B. 02-18-1931, Toni Morrison, preeminent black American novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. Her Beloved (1987) won the Pulitzer Prize.

Event 02-18-1972: Frances (Sissy) Farenhold of Texas received 420 delegate votes for Vice President of the 1972 Democratic National Convention, second only to the nominee, Senator Thomas Eagleton. Amongst other things, she would later head the National Women's Political Caucus and become President of Wells College in New York State.

Event 02-18-1978: John Rideout, the first man charged by his wife with raping her while they were living together, is acquitted by an Oregon Circuit Court. Coincidentally (?) the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is formed. In 1977 the South Australia Parliament had become the first government body in the world to make rape within a marriage a criminal offense.

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      In her book The Weaker Sex, Antonia Fraser states, "Prayer for women's use, composed by either sex, often referred apologetically to 'my grandmother Eve.' Men in the 17th century were not, it seemed, descended from Eve."
      She goes on to note that Joseph Swetnam in The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Forward, and Unconstant Women (1615) said, " 'Then who can but say that women spring from the Devil whose heads, hands, hearts, minds, and souls are evil?' At the time, many believed (according to much church doctrine) that women had no souls."

      "(It is)...easily possible to be a scholar and a gentleman, but it is hard to be a scholar and a lady... (women) have no wives to look after social contacts and to perform the drudgery for them."
            -- Marjorie Hope Nicolson, born Feb. 18, 1894, education professor and dean of Smith College (1929-41) and then became professor of English at Columbia University's graduate school, the first woman professor at Columbia (1941-1962). First woman to head the Phi Beta Kappa.

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