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Jenni Murray celebrates 21 women who helped shape our world

By: stagedoorscribbler - September 15, 2018

Dame Jenni Murray

The  inimitable Dame Jenni Murray celebrates great women from around the world  – rescuing some from obscurity and shining a new light on familiar names.  

Journalist and broadcaster examines some of the greatest female achievers and influencers. She rescues some from obscurity and shines a new light on a few familiar names.  

She argues that the world has been defined by its conflicts, its conquests, its men and its usually male leaders for too long. To say that it’s high time that it was defined by its women falls some way short of an understatement. 

In this personal selection Jenni - best known as a leading presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour -  draws together the lives of 21 women to shed light upon a variety of social, political, religious and cultural aspects of world history. She reinvigorates the stories behind the names we all know and reveals some fascinating tales behind those less familiar.

This is an evaluation of world history as you’ve never heard it before - as viewed through the achievements of women whose lives enthral, intrigue and inspire.

Her list is an impressive one. It includes Boudicca, Fanny Burney, Constance Markievicz, Caroline Herschel, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Ethel Smyth, Mary Quant, Aphra Behn, Jane Austen,Nancy Astor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Emmeline Pankhurst, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Castle, Elizabeth I, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ada Lovelace, Gwen John, Mary Seacole Nicola Sturgeon and Mary Somerville. 

They led while others followed. They stood up and spoke out when no one else would. They broke the mould and each of them fought, in their own way, for change.  

Encompassing artists, politicians, activists, reporters and heads of state from past and present, A History of the World in 21 Women celebrates the lives, struggles and achievements of women who have had a profound impact on the shaping of our world.     

*Jenni Murray presents Jenni Murray - A History of the World in 21 Women at the Riverside Centre in Newport on Thursday September 20th. More info at

She will be at Loughborough Town hall on Sunday September 23rd. More info at