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October 24, 2016

There’s a magazine called Good Housekeeping. Never wanted to read it? Me neither. It caught my eye last week because Sandi Toksvig was on the cover. She’s been a hero of mine since she helped set up the Women's Equality Party here in the UK. She writes cool books - ‘Valentine Grey’ and ‘Whistling for the Elephants’ are just two that happen to be on the bookshelf in front of me, my daughter has one about a slightly inept tooth fairy and her favourite book of all time, ‘Girls are Best.’ Sandi Toksvig also hosted the News Quiz on Radio 4 in a really inclusive way. She writes about interesting women who do cool stuff or invites them to be on her panel show and is a brilliant role model for women everywhere. Oh, and she has just started hosting Q.I and has a play coming out soon so must need to plug one or other of these things.

So, back to Good Housekeeping Nov 2016. The cover photo is quite glamorous and very unlike any other photo I have seen of Sandi before - perhaps it’s the leopard pri...

October 4, 2016

                                                                 Ovid’s Heroines?

This week I wanted to write about Ovid’s Heroides or Heroines. These are a series of poems written over two thousand years ago in a woman’s voice. I’ve been reading Clare Pollard’s modern translation preferring it to the Penguin classic. Ovid told us the stories of Ulysses, Achilles, Jason and many others from their lovers’ perspective. While the men were off fighting and adventuring the women were left behind, some threatened to kill themselves, some tried to seduce their stepsons (well Phaedra did) some cursed their lovers for choosing other wives. They were disempowered, angry and heartbroken. They were not Heroines in their own right, they were not strong women doing great things for their country or their people but were instead the cast-offs o...

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