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September 7

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the 1998 email distribution of Women of Achievement and Herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.

Elizabeth I, Queen of England


QUOTES by Elizabeth I, Eleanor Roosevelt, and from Ariadne's Thread.

"I will have here but one mistress and no master"

"I will have here but one mistress and no master," Elizabeth I, Queen of England, said to a would-be lover.

Elizabeth, one of the great rulers of history never married - and thus her genetic line ended - because the customs of the time would have effectively made any husband a co-ruler and deemed him her superior in the quasi-religious social order of western civilization.
      She knew, all too well, the pitfalls of a woman who would wear a crown. Her mother was beheaded by her father before Elizabeth's third birthday. She was declared illegitimate, treated with disdain, and really never knew when someone would kill her until her half-brother Edward VI was born in 1537 - all by the time she was four. One must remember that the modern American-style of helpless childhood did not exist in those times. The mores of the times demanded children be mature and self-sufficient and they often started doing adult-like work before they were five.
      After the birth of a male heir, Elizabeth was given an education usually reserved for a prince. She was present at all formal occasions and formally declared third in line to the throne. Then her father died when Elizabeth was 14. The tottering reign of her sickly younger brother Edward ended when she was 20.
      Ascending the throne was Mary I, a staunch Catholic who resented Elizabeth. It was Mary's mother who was put aside in favor of Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn. Mary - as one can imagine - suffered her own terrible stigmatized childhood.
      Elizabeth was soon charged with heresy (although she outwardly adopted Catholicism), was taken to the Tower and almost beheaded. Mary relented instead and placed Elizabeth under house arrest at a country estate. At Mary's death, Elizabeth ascended the throne at 25.
      To the amazement of everyone, the tumultuous indecisions started by her father Henry VIII were over as Elizabeth took a firm hand to end the religious wars.
      Elizabeth's intelligence along with the self-preserving secretness and duplicity she developed in order to stay alive would serve her nation well. Few rulers have ever been able to maneuver advisors and enemies as effectively as Elizabeth did, all the while keeping her own opinions a secret until her final decision. Almost 400 years later, her reign still shines as one of the greatest in history.

The fairytale princess legends are false. In historical actuality, princesses are among the most mistreated human beings in the world.
      The life story of Elizabeth I told in feminist and human terms dwarfs the normal historical record of the times. Studying how she stayed alive, resisted the pitfalls for women of that age twisted and turned and out-thought and manuevered her enemies while making a small island nation into a world power dwarfs the normal boring historical recitations of wars and monarchs.

[You can read the speech "I have the heart of a King" by Elizabeth I in the WiiN Library.]

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B. 09-07-1782, Susan Edmonstone Ferrier, Scottish author who had to publish anonymously - in the tradition of women being forced to keep their talent a secret so as not to take the spotlight from men.

Event 09-07-1838: According to tradition, Grace Darling and her father rescued five survivors of a shipwreck one stormy night off the Farne Islands. She rowed and controlled the boat while her father pulled in the men - a wild and harrowing accomplishment that took a great deal of strength and knowledge of the stormy seas. She received national fame for her bravery. Grace was an unmarried daughter, the servant to her father and unpaid assistant lighthouse keeper, etc.

B. 09-07-1858, Alice Chipman Dewey, U.S. educator.

B. 09-07-1860, Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses, primitive American painter. AMR lived the typical hard life of a farmer women until at 78 she returned to the picture painting she had done as a child.
      Painting came only after arthritis prevented her from continuing the needlecraft she had done all of her life to supplement the family income (along with canning, baking, etc.)
      Her first canvases were exhibited alongside her domestic wares at the Women's Exchange in 1938. (Some say in a drugstore window.) Louis Caldor, an art collector saw one, bought 15, and exhibited three of them at the Museum of Modern Art the next year.
      In all AMR produced about a 2,000 paintings, primarily of New England rural life in what is known as the American primitive style. She had ten children.

B. 09-07-1885, Elinor Wylie, American poet and novelist who wrote sensuous verse that scandalized many. Her personal life was also scandalous: she left her husband to run off with a lover who could not get a divorce from his wife. They eventually married - and divorced, but in the meantime she became a major figure in the literaria of New York City and she produced a remarkable series of novels and books of poetry. Her third husband was a noted poet William Rose Benét who also took it upon himself to edit her collections.

B. 09-07-1887, Dame Edith Sitwell, British writer, poet, critic, biographer, and eccentric of an eccentric family. She sought to create music with her writing by using imagery and rhythm in unusual ways. ES and her two brothers were noted London literary figures, with eclectic affectional tastes. ES is best known for The Shadow of Cain (1947), and The English Eccentrics (1933). Dame Sitwell was also renowned for her formidable personality

B. 09-07-1900, (Janet) Taylor Caldwell, British-born American novelist who also wrote under the pseudonym Max Reiner. Captain and The Kings, and Dear and Glorious Physician are two of her better known novels. Several of her books were turned into Hollywood movies. For 30 years she turned out one or two novels a year, most of them bestsellers with huge settings against the background of world affairs and complex families. Interesting "biographical" book: Stearn, Jess. The Search for the Soul: Taylor Caldwell's Psychic Lives. (1973).

09-07-1903, Margaret Mortenson Landon, British writer. Anna and the King of Siam is her best known work. The well known movie, musical, and TV series were all based on her novel although the real Anna - Anna Harriette Crawford Leonowens - wrote her own books on the subject.

09-07-1905, Ivy Maude Baker Priest, faithful Republican party worker who served as Treasurer of the United States (1953-1961) under Dwight Eisenhower. Her signature appeared on all U.S. paper money issued during that period. She had no training for the position that is customarily a political plum but she was a good administrator.
      Her mother was a house servant and her father a miner. Poverty prevented her from going to college and it was only through marriage to a man 21 years her senior that she found financial security. A Mormon, she said her church encouraged her to go into public life even though she had four children.
      After resigning her federal post, she was elected to two terms as California treasurer and was the first woman to place a man's name in nomination for the presidency, nominating Ronald Reagan in 1968.

B. 09-07-1923, Louise Suggs, American golfer, winner of more than 60 tournaments, including the U.S. Women's Open and the British Ladies tournament. She was the top LPGA money winner in 1953 and 1960. LS was president of the LPGA 1956-57.

Event 09-07-1927: American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, 21, succeeded in transmitting an image through purely electronic means by using a device called an image dissector. BUT, it was actually TWO engineers working together who developed TV. The second, his engineer wife Emma is never mentioned. Sigh.

B. 09-07-1938, Jaunita Millender-McDonald, U.S. Congressional Representative from California 1996-. She had been a member of the CA state assembly 1992-6.

09-07-1950, Peggy Noonan, U.S. writer and presidential speech author who coined the catchy, effective phrases: "a kinder, gentler nation" and "a thousand points of light," for George Bush's first presidential campaign. She was replaced by other writers in his losing re-election campaign.

B. 09-07-1951, Julie Kavner, American actor won a 1978 Emmy for her work in the TV series Rhoda.

Event 09-07-1955: Peruvian suffragists reach their goal and finally get the right to vote.

Event 09-07-1974: Little League Baseball, Inc., a federally charted organization, finally agreed to ban sex discrimination. Carolyn King, age 12 in 1973, had the cooperation of the National Organization for Women when she filed a discrimination suit against LL. It was dismissed by the courts, but the action set the stage for an avalanche of suits by girls wanting to play baseball. The suits numbered 57 and was growing when the male hierarchy capitulated and girls were "given" the right to play baseball.

Event 09-07-1977: Cynthia Nichols swam English Channel both ways in 19 hours, 15 minutes, more than 10 hours faster than any man had swum the double crossing.

Event 09-07-1989: Julia Chang Bloch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, the first American ambassador of Asian descent.

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      "As for my part, I care not for death; for all men are mortal, and though I be mortal, yet I have as good a courage answerable to my place as ever my father had. I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat, I were able to live in any place in Christendom."
            --Elizabeth I of England.

"Some of the old Goddess tales were twisted to suit the takeover of male powers, in order to win converts to their new gods. For example, Pandora (All-Gifts) was originally a Great Mother Goddess whose box (womb, cauldron, cave, cup) was a reservoir of beauty and life-sustaining gifts. Patriarchal myth tells us that Her box contained all manner of destructive demons, which were unleashed upon the world, brought evil and suffering to all. Eve was also a Mother Goddess, whose tree was the Tree of Life. The serpent was her own sensual wisdom, and the apple was her sacred fruit. Athene, whom we are told was born fully grown out of the head of Zeus, dressed in armor and ready for war, was originally the daughter of the matriarchal Goddess Metis (meter, method, measure, matter, mother... ) Both mother and daughter were worshiped by the Amazons at Lake Triton, and were born parthenogenetically - without sperm."
            -- Ariadne's Thread, page 26.

      "The big question before our people today is whether we are to be more material in our thinking, judging administrative success by its economic results entirely and leaving out all other achievements. History shows that a nation interested primarily in material things invariably is on a downward path. Great wealth has ruined every nation since that day that Cheops laid the corner stone of the Great Pyramid, not because of any inherent wrong in wealth, but because it became the ideal and the idol of the people. Phoenicia,Carthage, Greece, Rome, Spain, all bear witness to this truth."
            -- Eleanor Roosevelt as quoted by Blanche Wiesen Cook in Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume One 1884-1933, New York: Viking Press. 1992.

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