- Miles Hedley
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH at Royal Museums Greenwich
Award-winning writers, historians and broadcasters feature in a dynamic schedule of online talks, workshops, stories and performances to celebrate Women’s History Month at Royal Museums Greenwich in March.
The scintillating line-up includes Joy C. Mitchell, one of the writers of hit TV costume drama Bridgerton, The Harlot’s Handbook author Hallie Rubenhold and Anne Chambers, whose books include the biography of 16th century pirate queen Grace O’Malley.
Between them they will reveal how our history is lit up by extraordinary women who blazed their own trails in a rigidly patriarchal society, defied gender expectations in their quests for personal freedom and continue to inspire women and artists today.
The month’s flagship event – at 7pm on the 4th – is entitled From Harlots To Bridgerton: Women Writing Historical Fiction For Television and features Rubenhold and Mitchell discussing their groundbreaking small-screen dramas and how to create the right balance between feminist storytelling and historical accuracy.
Mitchell will talk about working on the Netflix smash Bridgerton, part of which was filmed at The Queen’s House (above), whilst historian Rubenhold will speak about her books The Harlot’s Handbook, The Scandalous Lady W and the prize-winning The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper.
Three other events, all free, take rebel women as their theme. The first, on March 2, looks at the lives and legacies of notorious 17th century pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Their astonishing lives are put under the spotlight by Hell Cats author Carina Rodney, artist Amanda Cotton – who has sculpted the pair – and Jo Cummins, Máiréad Ní Chróinín and Grace Kiely of Irish theatre company Moonfish. The evening includes a live performance of Moonfish’s play about Bonny and Read.
A week later on the 9th Pirate Queen/Breaking The Rules examines the achievements of and prejudices against women who go to war. This fascinating free event zooms in on maritime legend Grace O’Malley, whose exploits we know about today only through a male filter, and features best-selling Anne Chambers, author of Grace O’Malley: The Biography Of Ireland’s Pirate Queen 1530-1603, and Dr Julie Wheelwright, who offers a comprehensive overview of the subject in Sisters In Arms: Women Warriors From Antiquity To The New Millennium.
The triptych is completed on the 15th by Women Of Pirate Radio, in which Resonance FM host Debbie Golt chairs a discussion with Kiss FM producer Angie Dee and veteran London DJ Carmella Obinyan about the broadcast revolution inspired by the likes of Radio Caroline in the 1960s.
And throughout the month, families can find out more about these remarkable women through online storytelling and craft workshops. Full details of all the events at www.rmg.co.uk