CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay) by Liz Argall

In December 2013 I saw that Fablecroft had sent out a call for proposals for their Cranky Ladies Anthology. I’d been stuck in a creative quagmire and depressed and one thing I had learned was that if you feel stuck do something in service of people or things you like. Then it isn’t about you, it is about the work, it is about service and you will push yourself harder and won’t give up. I like Fablecroft and I liked their concept, so I checked them out.

Scanning through the list and thinking about what wasn’t on the list I swiftly decided that Oodgeroo Noonuccal needed to be in the anthology. I had fallen in love with her poetry in high school, its ferocity, tenderness and politics. She had an unflinching power that created space for all the motions, space for anger, despair, fighting spirit and a wry sense of humour. I feel like through her work I experienced one of my first role models of a balanced fighter. She was someone who was an activist, but did not let the consuming nature of the fight tear her apart. She was a whole human being. Continue reading “CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay)”

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New reviews and news

CLOH cover smallWe’re chuffed to see some wonderful reviews of Cranky Ladies out there. One new one is from Marlene at Reading Reality, who says of the book: The historical women in these stories kicked ass and took names. Sometimes literally, sometimes just figuratively. They are individually and collectively awesome, even if they are not all familiar.

It’s not all about Cranky Ladies though. Our new unthemed anthology, Insert Title Here, is also getting some love!

Katharine at VentureAdlaxre reckons of Insert Title Here that: every single story is heart-breaking or grim or absurdly strange and wonderful, and all are incredibly readable.

Speaking of Insert Title Here, you can win one of two copies over at Goodreads – enter here!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Insert Title Here by Tehani Wessely

Insert Title Here

by Tehani Wessely

Giveaway ends April 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/130359

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: The Pirate Queen of the Connacht

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

The Pirate Queen of the Connacht by Dirk Flinthart

Grace O’Malley: a woman so swashbuckling and amazing that she really ought to be fictitious, because her actual-factual self makes most of us look like timorous, lazy slugs.

Look – I like pirates, okay? I’ve liked pirates ever since I was old enough to read Treasure Island for myself. (My mum read it to me first, but she was going too slowly for me. I kidnapped the book and read it in a day.) I know that in reality, most pirates were (and are) amoral, bloodthirsty, violent thugs… but every now and again somebody like Grace O’Malley crops up.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “Granuaile” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read! Continue reading “CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: The Pirate Queen of the Connacht”

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Countess Bathory

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Countess Bathory by Deborah Biancotti (“Look How Cold My Hands Are”)

She was called witch, Vampire, the Blood Countess and the Beast of Cjeste. She was accused of bathing in the blood of virgin girls. She’s been described as the worst female serial killer of all time, with her victims numbering anywhere from fifteen to three hundred to six hundred girls and women.

Since the eighteenth century she’s been held up as an example of the evils of feminine vanity, a woman who painted her face with blood in order to preserve her youth.

And yet, she died nearly two hundred years before the worst of these claims were ever made.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “LOOK HOW COLD MY HANDS ARE” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

Continue reading “CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Countess Bathory”

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Hatshepsut’s rise to power

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Hatshepsut by Amanda Pillar (“Neter Nefer”)

There is surprisingly little data on the early days of Hatshepsut’s rise to power (at least, in the records I trawled through). She is regarded as one of the most successful pharaohs of Egypt and is from the same dynasty as the famous Tutankhamun and the rule-breaking Akhenaten.

But what inspired Hatshepsut to claim the double crown?

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “NETER NEFER” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!  Continue reading “CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Hatshepsut’s rise to power”

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Due Care with the Truth (Dr Lilian Cooper)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Due Care with the Truth by Sylvia Kelso (“Due Care and Attention”)

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “DUE CARE AND ATTENTION” – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

When you read fiction about a person from actual history, it’s a very natural reaction to ask, How much of this was true?

In my case, quite a lot of the story about Dr Lilian Cooper and her best mate Josephine Bedford is based on fact. Quite a few of Lilian’s remarks were recorded, and a few are used here verbatim, though the curses are manufactured. However, the details of the night trip to Mount Mee are accurate, as is the fractured skull – in 1893 the horse in her dog-cart bolted and threw her into a lamp-post; Lilian was picked up vowing that nothing was wrong, but she was confined to bed for some time, even having the street outside covered with straw, a sign, then, of a dangerously ill patient. When she recovered, Josephine quietly replaced the groom, and drove Lilian on her medical rounds. All to be found in Lilian’s biography, No Easy Path, by Lesley M. Williams.

lilianjosepine-buggy
Image courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

 

Also true is the furore over (relative) speeding on which the story is based. There was a Brisbane cop who excelled in fining speedsters, among whom doctors were notable, both Lilian and Dr Hardie copping the fines cited here. There was also a bill mooted to give police the powers listed. The then stagnant RACQ did resurrect itself to fight the bill, and said bill was dropped: all related in Robert Longhurst’s A Road Well Travelled: RACQ’s first 100 years. The Lennons payroll robbery and the car-chase, however, are definitely fiction. And it’s also fiction that the cop who issued speeding fines was called Higgins.

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Elizabeth Tudor, last Queen standing

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Elizabeth Tudor: Last Queen Standing by Faith Mudge (“Glorious”)

To understand how Elizabeth Tudor became the woman she was, you need to know a few things about her father.

At a huge diplomatic event known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, King Henry VIII of England challenged the French king to a public wrestling match. (He lost.) When the Pope refused permission for him to divorce his first wife, he changed the whole religious structure of his country so that he could do what he wanted. When his second wife, Anne Boleyn, bore a girl instead of the son he expected, he refused to attend the christening. He divorced Anne of Cleves after six months because he decided she wasn’t pretty enough, ordered for Catherine Parr to be arrested when she argued with him and is reputed to have been playing tennis while Anne Boleyn was executed.

In short, he was a violent egomaniac whose word was law, and who placed little worth on the lives of women. Not an ideal father for two daughters.

Image via BBC History

Elizabeth was born on the seventh of September in 1533, during the volatile years of the Reformation, when the only safe belief you could have about anything was ‘whatever the king says’. She was not quite three years old when her mother was beheaded, and her father remarried in the same month. This marriage, to Jane Seymour, soon produced the son he craved so much. That left Elizabeth, his middle child, in an immensely precarious position – disinherited, declared illegitimate, essentially superfluous and a living reminder of the woman Henry had loved then hated.

You could say that’s when I met her. The first incarnation of Elizabeth I remember encountering was an article in an old magazine, and the sense of isolation it conjured has stuck with me: an image of a little girl surrounded by whispers and watchful eyes. The only person Elizabeth could count on to protect her was herself.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “GLORIOUS” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

Continue reading “CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Elizabeth Tudor, last Queen standing”