Friday, April 13, 2018

Women who changed the world: Emilie Snethlage (1868-1929)

Emilie Snethlage

b. 1868 Kratz, Westphalia, Germany; d. 1929, Porto Velho, Brazil

Emilie Snethlage was a zoologist, ethnologist, and ornithologist. She spent her entire professional career in the Amazon jungles of Brazil, where she directed the zoology departments of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, a museum and research institute in Belém, Pará (1905–22), and the Museo Nacional at Rio de Janerio (1922–29). Snethlage was awarded an honorary membership in the British Ornithologists’ Union in 1915.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Women who changed the world: Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921)

"Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) was a U.S. astronomer whose work guided the field to understand distances in the universe. At a time when women's contributions were undervalued, attributed to male scientists, or ignored, Leavitt's findings were seminal to astronomy as we understand it today.
Leavitt's careful work measuring the brightness of variable stars, forms the basis of astronomical understanding of such topics as distances in the universe and the evolution of stars. Such luminaries as astronomer Edwin P. Hubble praised her, stating that his own discoveries rested largely on her accomplishments."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jane Franklin, Benjamin Franklin´s younger sister

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, was the tenth son of his parents, and his sister Jane was the last child of the marriage and the last one of the seven daughters.

They both started their personal life around the age of 15. At that age, Benjamin left his father's house and went out in search of opportunities. At that same age, Jane got married and started having children. She had 12 children.

The siblings maintained a regular correspondence, despite the educational differences between the two of them. Franklin thought his sister was a very intelligent person and paid attention to her opinions.  On the basis of these letters a biography of Jane has been written.

Jane Franklin

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Women who changed the world: Lauren Gunderson

"On a six-hour drive from San Francisco to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival a few years ago, the playwright Lauren Gunderson raised a question: What does American theatre need? “It was ridiculously presumptuous,” Gunderson told me recently, over the phone, “but it’s the conversation everyone is having.” Gunderson was travelling with her friend Margot Melcon, a former literary manager, who reminded her that every theatre needs a holiday show: something clever, heartwarming, and family-friendly enough to entice an audience inured to “A Christmas Carol.” Gunderson recalled their idea: “You know what people love? Jane Austen. You know what people really love? Christmas and Jane Austen.” By the time they finished the drive, they had outlined a script on Starbucks napkins: a holiday reunion for the Bennet sisters, from “Pride and Prejudice,” with a courtship plot for Mary, the pedantic middle sister, who emerges as a surprising feminist heroine. (Mary and her beau spark over a copy of Lamarck’s “Zoological Philosophy”; Gunderson calls Mary an emblem of “geek chic.”) “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” is now a regional-theatre hit.

Increasingly, theatres are banking on Gunderson, who, at thirty-five, has already had more than twenty of her works produced: among them witty historical dramas about women in science (“Emilie,” “Silent Sky,” “Ada and the Engine”), giddy political comedies (“Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” “The Taming,” “The Revolutionists”), and wildly theatrical explorations of death and legacy (“I and You,” “The Book of Will”). According to American Theatre magazine’s annual survey, released last month, Gunderson will be the most produced playwright in the country for the 2017–18 season. Her plays are staged almost twice as often as anyone else’s on the list, far ahead of venerated figures like Eugene O’Neill and August Wilson, who edged her for the top spot last year. (The survey excludes Shakespeare, America’s perennial favorite.) Although men still write three-quarters of the plays that get produced, Gunderson has built a national reputation with works that center on women’s stories. And, though most playwrights also teach or work in television, she has managed to make a living, in San Francisco, by writing for the stage."

Saturday, April 22, 2017


"Gertrude Bell  was born in County Durham, England, in 1868, to an enormously wealthy industrialist family, but instead of being a society girl, she went on to study history at Oxford, before developing a fascination with Arabia and archaeology, visiting the area several times and frequently embarking on digs, such as one in 1909 at Carchemish, ruins found on the Syrian-Turkish border, where she first met Lawrence of Arabia and 'intimidated' him with her intelligence and ability to speak Arabic 'better than him'."

Letters from Baghdad is a documentary where actor Tilda Swinton reads letters written by the diplomat, explorer, archeologist, and even spy during WWI, who, along with T.E. Lawrence, helped to shape modern Middle East.

Queen of the Desert film (2015) is "a chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.  Directed by Werner Herzog

Her biographer Georgina Howell deemed that " the heart of Bell's life: her frustrated love affair with married soldier and administrator Dick Doughty-Wylie, killed in the Dardanelles in 1915."

But, says journalist Rachel Aspden, "modern readers are more likely to be puzzled by her lack of interest in Bell's fraught, and fascinating, political legacy."

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Heddy Lamarr was a very beautiful woman.  She was born in Vienna, Europe, but after she succeeded in cinema, used to live in Los Angeles, where she stayed far from Hollywood parties and scandals.