Sunday, May 22, 2011

Books on Women

Two new and different books on women:

Jocelyn features 11 women writers in her portraits. Some are highly educated and precocious; some are barely literate and writing under the most arduous or tragic circumstances. Some wrote journals; some, like Margaret Catchpole, a convicted horse thief eking her way as a convict in Australia, wrote letters. Daisy Ashford wrote a complete novel at 9 — and it’s still in print. Isabella Beeton wrote a manual of household management that influenced domestic life for generations.

For each woman, Jocelyn has written a short biography, supported and illustrated with a generous number of quotations from the woman’s writing. Thus each speaks for herself, with Jocelyn interpreting and elucidating what’s happening between the lines for her young readers.

The Search is difficult to read, simply because of the awful nature of the tale. Writing about sex without making it titillating is tough. But Akhtar describes the horrors of gang-rape painstakingly, cutting out explicit scenes which could eroticise the act. The post-war abuse of 30 years is tougher to digest. The landscape is eerie too — marshlands, lonely trees laden with fruits, abandoned houses, floods... Akhtar brings the human context of war alive with terrible beauty. The lack of linear progression compounds the desolation. Systemic rape continues to plague all ongoing conflict points in the world. In this backdrop, The Search assumes an ominous air.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon - Diagnosis

The coronary arteries of Princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon - as visualised by whole body computerised tomography (CT) scanning - will feature in two presentations at the International Conference of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging (ICNC) this week in Amsterdam (15-18 May). ICNC is now one of the world's major scientific event in nuclear cardiology and cardiac CT imaging.

The Egyptian princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon, who lived in Thebes (Luxor) between 1580 and 1550 BC and who is now known to be first person in human history with diagnosed coronary artery disease, lived on a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and a limited amount of meat from domesticated (but not fattened) animals. Wheat and barley were grown along the banks of the Nile, making bread and beer the dietary staples of this period of ancient Egypt. Tobacco and trans-fats were unknown, and lifestyle was likely to have been active.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Secret Life of Handbags

From the Irish Times: 
For many women, their handbag is more than something to carry their make-up – it’s their whole life in a leather cocoon. So what do handbags say about their owners and are they really a potent symbol of women’s emancipation, writes FIONOLA MEREDITH

FOR SOME WOMEN, it provides a simple way to carry a purse, mobile phone and keys, along with a random assortment of everyday bits and pieces. But for others, the handbag is much more than that. Media commentator Yasmin Alibhai Brown may have been only slightly overstating it when she observed that handbags have become potent symbols of “politics, economics, social mobility, pre-feminist proclivities or post-feminist liberties, ethical living, advanced capitalism, the ebb of socialism and possibly the end of history”.

Now French sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann has written a book – Le Sac, un Petit Monde d’Amour (or The Bag, a Small World of Affection) – examining the contents and the meanings of the female handbag. Having interviewed 75 women over the course of 18 months, Kaufmann concludes that, despite its frivolous image, the handbag is actually a symbol of female emancipation.

Zambia: Female President??

It is clear that many women in Zambian politics, ancient and modern played and have continued to play a crucial role in shaping Zambia’spolitical destiny.

This fact, though rarely appreciated, can be seen not only on the fading pages of Zambian political history, but also in the current skirmishing manouevres to increase the number of women in politically-sensitive decision-making roles.

Many women, and rightly so are asking for more political space to show-off their wares.

In terms of political party hierarchies, however, not many women have seen the upper echelons of power.

In modern times, one Edith Nawakwi has arisen with the clouds.  She was thrust into the lime-light during the glory-days of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
Hitherto an unknown marketeer at Northmead Market, Nawakwi soon became a force to reckon with by Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP).

Notable Female Indian Politicians

For the first time in the history of our democracy, four states are being led by women chief ministers. Here’s looking at what makes the behenji different from the amma, and the didi from the school teacher .

Mamata Banerjee - the woman who ended the 34-year-old communist regime in West Bengal.

J Jayalalithaa - The actress-turned powerful politician.

Sheila Dixit - three time election winner.

Mayawati - this Dalit leader heads the most populous state in the country.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bahraini Women & the Peace Protest

Dozens are detained in prison facing torture and humiliation for participating in peaceful protests. Bahrain regime is killing, detaining, physically and verbally abusing and dismissing women from work and education.

Bahrain center for Human Rights strongly condemns the ongoing crackdown against the peaceful protesters in Bahrain, specially the repression and detention of a great number of Bahraini women such as political and social activists, doctors, teachers, housewives as well as school and university students. These women are facing torture as well as physical and verbal abuses that leads to death in some cases; in addition to the dismissal from work and education. This is thought to be a vengeance against Bahraini women for the key role they played since the beginning of the protests; a way to force them giving up that role and retreat any activity they had in the protesting movement since last February. It is also a way to add pressure on the opposition to retreat their legitimate demands.

Since the early days of the Bahraini revolution on February 14th, 2011, Bahraini women participated as an active and influential entity in the protests. They advanced in great numbers on the front lines of the peaceful protests and expressed their opinion by demanding their political and human rights, giving speeches and reciting poetry. Their presence in the Pearl Square -The symbol of Bahrain’s revolution- was significant in taking up management roles, rescuing those injured by the excessive force used by Bahraini security forces; as well as documenting the brutalities committed against protesters and speaking to various media outlets[2] .

It is due to the active roles played by Bahraini women, that the authorities conducted a crackdown attacking and detaining them and anyone who they believe participated in the protests. The crackdown reached its peak with the arrest of unprecedented numbers of women in the history of Bahrain [over 100 woman during less than 2 months]; as well as the direct shooting of a woman by a sniper in Bahrain’s army. Thousands of women find themselves in poor psychological condition due to threats and intimidations faced and fear of injury, detention and losing their jobs and studies.

Continue to read about the real cost of peaceful protest in Bahrain at ABNA.


Ann Smith - Veterans Oral History Project

In retirement, Ann Smith is not content to sit back and relax.

As coordinator of the Veterans Project for the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, Smith is busy interviewing veterans, transcribing interviews and working with student interns to teach them about oral history.

Before she retired in the mid-1990s, Smith was a nurse in Gainesville.

"When I retired, I was looking for something that would be more meaningful than reading the novels I hadn't had the chance to read yet," Smith said. "I wanted an intellectual component. I didn't think dusting the mantel would do it for me."

Smith saw an article about the Oral History Program at UF and its need for volunteers.

The program calls itself "one of the largest and most diverse oral history repositories in the United States," having conducted some 4,800 interviews.

Confederate Women - Two Stories

Recently, folks here recognized a lady not too well-known when her burial place in Fairmount Cemetery was singled out for special honors by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Mamie Ann Yeary is a special person to folks researching Civil War materials, records and documents.

Despite being handicapped throughout her life, over the years she compiled a fantastic volume of personal stories told by veterans of the conflict.

The book, published in 1912, is titled "Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861-1865." It's 904 pages and contains memoirs submitted to her by Confederate veterans living in Texas at the time of its writing.

Another woman who did more than her share during that brutal war was Isabelle (Belle) Boyd, an actress and Confederate spy. Although she was a native Virginian, her varied career brought her to Texas at least twice.

Her first trip to the Lone Star State came when she performed on stage at Houston and Galveston theaters. Later, she settled for a time in Dallas.

In 1861, Belle shot and killed a Union soldier who broke into her home.

Beatriz de Dia - Trobairitz

Unsung Heroine is a new performance piece which explores the imagined history of the redoubtable 12th-century woman troubadour Beatriz de Dia.

Part of the Brighton Early Music @ the Fringe series in Brighton Festival Fringe, the concert is in St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo Street, Brighton on May 15 at 7.30pm (

“Women composers are in the minority even today,” explains writer Clare Norburn. “So imagine how extraordinary Beatriz and her fellow trobairitz (a group of 16-plus women who performed and created songs and poems in the 12th century) were.

“Beatriz and her contemporaries were effectively singer-songwriters: all this, in an age when women were largely subject to the power of their husbands and had hardly any direct control over even the smallest aspects of their lives!”

The performance features medieval ensemble The Telling who will perform the plaintive love songs of the troubadours and trouveres of France along with foot-stomping medieval dances.

It also features actress Patience Tomlinson, a regular voice on BBC Radio 4, as Beatriz.

“Unsung Heroine is described as an imagined history because we know so little about her life,” explains playwright Clare Norburn. Clare is also a singer with The Telling, as well as being Brighton Early Music Festival’s co-artistic director.

“The tale takes the small snippets we guess about Beatriz’s life and combines them with ideas in the extremely passionate poetry she wrote and also with key themes and ideas which occur throughout the repertoire of troubadour poetry.

“It’s also a ghost story in part. In the play, Beatriz is a ghostly presence watching us in 2011: she is trapped, forced forever to attend performances of her music and to relive the story of her passionate affair with troubadour Raimbaut d’Aurenga and his betrayal. The piece has its lighter moments too, though. There are lots of foot-stomping dances and romantic encounters too.”

Tickets: £12 (£10 concs) from or 01273 709709 or 01273 917272 and on the door.

Women of the Crusade of 1101

Reprinted with the kind permission of author extraordinare Nan Hawthorne:

Women of the Crusade of 1101 - Backdrop to Beloved Pilgrim
Researching the Crusade of 1101 for my novel, Beloved Pilgrim, I asked the wuestion, "Were women involved at all in the crusade?" My protagonist, after all, was a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight as a knight. I put together a short essay on the topic for Christopher Gortner's Historical Boys blog called "Women Fighters in the Crusades".

The vast majority of women who went on crusade were peasant women and women from religious orders. Some of them fought, though not as part of the formal military. Nevertheless three noblewomen stand out for their connections to this devastating event in history.

Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg, Margravine of Austria
Little is known about the Austrian Margravine Ida, born Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg. She was born in 1055 the daughter of Rapoto IV of Cham, also known as Itha, and married to Leopold II, Margrave of Austria. Their son, Leopold III, was a deeply religious man who gave a great deal to the Church and was later canonized a saint. Ida was reputed to be the most beautiful woman in Europe in her youth. She was in her mid-forties when she decided to travel with Duke Welf of Bavaria’s contingent in the Crusade of 1101. In the Turkish ambush of this party at Heraclea in September 1101 Ida was either killed or captured. Nothing is known of her fate other than a rumor that she became part of a harem and was the mother of the great Turkish leader Zengi. This is, however, not possible as Zengi was born before the Margravine even came to Turkey.
Anna Komnena, Byzantine Princess and Historian
One of the first female historians in the West, Anna Komnena was born on December 1, 1083, to Byzantine Emperor Alexios I and his wife, Irene Doukaina. She was the author of an account of her father’s life, The Alexiad. She was extraordinarily highly educated in history, mathematics, science and Greek philosophy, and, although against her parents’ strict instructions, also in the lusty folktales and legends of her people. Her books are full of anecdotes about the famous people of her time, full of her personal observations of such men as Bohemond of Taranto, whom she called “a habitual rogue”, and Raymond de St. Gilles, whom she liked. She was married at 14 to Nikephoros Bryennios, a fellow scholar and historian, with whom she had a long – 40 years -- and fruitful marriage.

Anna believed she was the rightful heir to her father’s throne, being the firstborn, crowned at her birth, and having her mother’s strong support for herself and her husband. Legend has it that her younger brother John took the imperial ring when he came to bid his dying father goodbye. The Church declared him Emperor John II. Anna and her husband twice attempted to overthrow John and were possibly part of the attempted murder plot against him at his coronation. They were unsuccessful. After her husband’s death, Anna retired to the convent of Kecharitomene, founded by her mother, where she lived until her own death in about 1153.

Anna’s unique contribution to the history of the Crusades comes not from eyewitness accounts but from her relationship with members of her own family who fought in the First Crusade and her ability to record the Byzantine concerns over the excesses of the crusaders whom they feared would overrun the empire.

Adela of Normandy, Countess of Blois
Adela was the daughter, sister and mother of four kings of England, William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders being her parents. Her brothers, William I Rufus and Henry I were not the only other kings, as her son, Stephen of Blois, seized the crown before Henry’s daughter, Matilda, could be crowned.

Her only role in the Crusade of 1101 is her reputed insistence that her husband, Henry-Stephen of Blois, one of the riches men in Europe, return to the Holy Land after failing to fulfill his oath to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Some have claimed he had shown cowardice at the Siege of Antioch, but this is not certain. He did however abandon the mass of the pilgrims during the Battle of Merzifon in 1101. He subsequently was killed at the Battle of Ramleh in 1102.

During her husband’s long absences and after his death Adela acted as an able regent. She died on March 8, 1137, at the convent where she had retired. Her son Stephen, King of England, was not her most accomplished progeny, as Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, was one of the m most acute statesmen and patron of architecture and more of his time.

Elisabeth von Winterkirche and Maliha may be fictitonal, but you can read their story and see one theory of what happened to Margravine Ida in Beloved Pilgrim, by Nan Hawthorne, now available in print and Kindle on and and as an ebook on Smashwords.

About Nan
Nan Hawthorne is a historical novelist who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and doted-upon cats. She has been in love with history and historical fiction since, at four, she discovered the Richard Greene “The Adventures of Robin Hood” television series. She wrote her first short story at seven, then launched into the letters and stories with a teen friend that ultimately became her first novel, AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLE SAXON ENGLAND (2008).

The author of one nonfiction work on women and body image, she now concentrates primarily on historical novels set in the Middle Ages. Her latest novel, BELOVED PILGRIM, looks at gender identity and self-realization during the chaotic and doomed Crusade of 1101. She writes several blogs on historical themes, owns the catalog and also Internet radio station, Radio Dé Danann.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Green Lady of Caerphilly Castle

From Reuters:
Legends say she is the spirit of Alice de la Marche of Angouleme, France, niece of Henry II and the disgraced lover of a knight named Gruffydd the Fair. She died of a broken heart after he was hanged by her husband, Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who was lord of the castle. Locals say that on moonlit nights she appears on the walls searching for her lost love. She is known as “the Green Lady”, perhaps because of the ivy that spills over the castle walls, or maybe she wears green because of her husband’s envy.

The story as told by Richard Jones in "Haunted Castles of Britain & Ireland":
"Gilbert was married to the beautiful Princess Alice of Angouleme, a lady of refined tastes and passionate nature, who came to resent her husband’s warring disposition. One day, Gruffudd the Fair, Prince of Brithdir, paid a visit to the castle. Alice became enamored with this handsome and amorous Welsh prince, and soon the two were lovers. Rather foolishly, Gruffudd confessed their secret to a monk who turned out to be duplicitous and informed the cuckolded husband. A deranged Gilbert sent his wife back to France and ordered his men to find Gruffudd. Learning of the friar’s betrayal, Gruffudd caught the monk and hanged him from a tree at a site now known as “Monk’s Vale” in commemoration. No sooner had he done so than Gilbert’s men caught up with him, and Gruffudd, too, was soon dangling at the end of a noose.
Gleefully, the avenged husband set a messenger to France to inform Alice of her lover’s execution. Such was the shock of the news that she dropped dead on the spot, and her ghost has haunted the ramparts of Caerphilly Castle ever since. Resplendent in a richly woven dress, colored green for Gilbert’s envy, she waits in silent solitude, desperate to be reunited with her princely lover, whose flattering attentions fate has long denied her."

Willa Cather's Unfinished Novel

From Google:
A passage from Willa Cather's unfinished and purportedly destroyed novel "Hard Punishments" was among a new collection of writings and mementos unveiled Thursday at the world's largest archive devoted to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Andrew Jewell, editor of the archive at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said when Cather died in 1947 the novel was not finished, and scholars believed the incomplete manuscript had been destroyed. An extensive collection left to the university by the author's nephew, Charles Cather, proves otherwise.

"For some reason, the story goes that she burned everything or (her partner) Edith Lewis burned everything," Jewell said. "That simply was not true."

Jewell described the passage, in Cather's hard-to-discern handwriting, as a conversation between a boy named Andre who had his tongue ripped out for the crime of blasphemy and a young, blind priest who gives the boy absolution. The scene takes place in medieval times in Avignon, France. At one point, the priest tells the boy to stop trying to talk or else he'll start to bleed again.

India's Glamour Royal Women

These queens and princesses had hordes of admirers in their time and it's easy to see why.

The Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa may be making headlines across the world each day, but there are several Indian princesses and queens from history who were just as fascinating , beautiful, and glamorous as the Middletons.

In the following pages, we bring you a brief insight into the personalities and lives of our own maharanis and princesses.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Celtic Princess Grave

German archaeologists are examining a Celtic grave in the Danube heartland when they found the remains of a Celtic princess, from 2,600 years ago, buried with her gold and amber jewelry.

The princess had remained in her final resting place since about 609BC. Just months ago the German experts began to dig out the 80 tonnes of clay covering the grave to remove it bring it their offices where it could be examined.

Experts believe that the manner that she was buried, with expensive jewels, shows that she was of a high social rank. The brooches found are particularly beautiful with Celtic designs in gold and amber. According to BBC reports the remains of a child were also found in the grave. The child is presumed to be the princess'.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Generations of Remarkable Women

From the Deccan Herald:
The women in this story are undoubtedly brilliant, but what shines through making their story so compelling is the strength of spirit, the generosity of soul and passion that they all possess. The author manages to capture their lives with great skill, embellishing it with her endearing descriptions of things such as the snacks they loved to eat. Just like the mouth-watering bori-bhajas, chirey, muri and mowa, the author’s mother and aunts offered her in childhood, Bharati Ray’s book is a delicious read.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two "New" Novels By DE Stevenson

From BBC News:
Two "new" novels by Scots author DE Stevenson are being published nearly 40 years after her death.

The manuscripts were found by one of the writer's granddaughters among family belongings stored in an attic.

One of the stories, The Fair Miss Fortune, was submitted to publishers Hodder and Stoughton in 1938.

It was rejected, apparently because the subject matter - the antics of identical twins - was considered too old fashioned.

The other manuscript is thought to date back to the 1920s. Stevenson's title for it was The Strong Thing but it has been re-named Emily Dennistoun after the main character.

Publisher Shirley Neilson, of Greyladies Books in Edinburgh, snapped up the rights to both novels.

Four Women Western Writers

From New West:
When we did the Western Literature Association survey of Most Important Authors, very few women made the list. Willa Cather got her fair share of votes. Mari Sandoz was the next favorite, followed by Leslie Silko and Mary Austin. After that came such names as Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros, Pam Houston, Terry Tempest Williams and Ann Zwinger. With the exception of Cather, none had sufficient support to be called "important".

For my list of significant Western women writers, I chose the four I find most unforgettable, four women I have spent many evenings with and who belong in the library of any well-read Westerner.
  • Mary Hunter Austin
  • Willa Catha
  • Mari Sandoz
  • Dorothy Jackson

Cleopatra - Art Throughout The Ages

The Greek writer Plutarch first wrote about her in a book called Parallel Lives sometime around 100 AD. He said she met Antony "at the very time when women have the most brilliant beauty and are at the acme of intellectual power". The Roman historian Cassius Dio went further. She was, he said: "a woman of surpassing beauty".

But neither actually saw her and were writing long after her death. They spawned an enduring myth that has been sustained ever since by books, ballets, operas, films and paintings. She remains one of the most famous women in history.

William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw both wrote plays about her famous romances, and these have inspired a continuing flow of other dramatic portrayals.

Most great actresses seem to have played Cleopatra at some stage in their careers and she has featured in films since the dawn of the silver screen.

Warrior Moms in History

Mother's Day usually celebrates all of the sweet and loving moms out there. But there's another breed of moms that aren't all fresh-baked cookies and warm milk. These historical moms wanted what's best for their kids (and themselves). Some took a tough but fair approach to getting things done -- and others were more than willing to crush rebellions and murder family members to make things happen.

Qajar Women

Explore the lives of women during the Qajar era (1796-1925) through a wide array of materials from private family holdings and participating institutions. Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran provides bilingual access to thousands of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, publications, everyday objects, works of art and audio materials, making it a unique online resource for social and cultural histories of the Qajar world.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Famour Women in Hungary

From Xpatloop:
When one lists the outstanding personalities of Hungarian history, one tends to think of crowned kings, valiant commanders, renowned statesmen and legendary champions of freedom –representing, almost exclusively, the stronger sex. Yet, many woman bolstered the fame of Hungary over the centuries.

Read about: Ilona Zrínyi, Margit Schlachta and Anna Kéthly, Flóra Sass, Lilly Steinschneider, and not forgetting Elizabeth Báthory.  

Fleet Street Editor: Rachel Beer

From the Jewish Chronicle Online:
Until very recently if you Googled the name Rachel Beer you would not come up with anything very much, certainly nothing to suggest that she did what no woman has done before or since - edit both the Observer and the Sunday Times. Indeed, for eight years she was in editorial control of both papers.

Israeli writers Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev, who have written a book, The First Lady of Fleet Street, about her life, only happened upon her by chance on a visit to London. The Jerusalem–based married couple discovered the story during a visit to Highgate Cemetery.

Koren recalls: "We took a guided tour of the cemetery five years ago and came across the grave of a man called Julius Beer. He had built a mausoleum to block the view of the Victorian aristocrats who had ostracised him. It was an act of revenge. The name sounded Jewish but if he was Jewish what was he doing in Highgate Cemetery? We started looking for information and one thing led to another - we unearthed the story of his daughter-in-law, Rachel."

Historic Women of Waukesha

History books about our area are replete with the men who made Waukesha famous, from spring prospectors like Col. Dunbar, musicians like Les Paul or politicians like Gov. William Barstow.

What is somewhat lacking, though, is information about Waukesha’s founding mothers, the women who helped make Waukesha what it is today.

In celebration of Mother’s Day, let’s consider a few women from different eras and walks of life who were important to our fair city.

Victorian Secrets

We tend to think of “discomfort” to describe women’s undergarments of the Victorian period. Yet there’s evidence that two other words – romantic and elegant – also come to mind when talking about the unmentionables in ladies’ wardrobes of that time period.

Members of the Centerville-Washington Township Historical Society found that to be so in preparing for their Victorian Luncheon fashion show, “Victorian Secrets,” held Saturday, April 30, at Normandy Church.

They didn’t have to look much further than their permanent collection of beautiful vintage petticoats, bloomers, nightwear and more donated by the community throughout the years. “We were amazed at the good condition of the lingerie items – some more than 100 years old,” says Ferne Reilich, society curator. “The Victorian women really knew how to make the most of their femininity.”

Those attending the show heard interesting bits of undergarment history.

The Woman in the Sunbonnet

If it weren't for the courageous, long suffering pioneer women who left their families to come West in the mid1800s, Nevada's earliest history, particularly around Dayton, might have been lost.

Although Abner Blackburn, a pack train guide for Mormon pioneers, documented his adventures in the 1840s, including finding Nevada's first gold at the mouth of a nondescript desert canyon (Gold Cañon) in 1849; it was the ladies who recorded daily life on a 2,000-plus mile journey from home.

Historians say Lucena Pfuffer Parsons's diary is one of the most geographically accurate, comprehensive histories of the Western migration.

The hand-written journal of her 1850-1851 journey from Wisconsin to Salt Lake City, Gold Cañon, Utah Territory, (Nevada), onto Oakland, California, is preserved in the Stanford University Special Collections Library.

Lucena's diary lay hidden until her oldest daughter Ellen Maria, the first white child born in Oakland, Calif., discovered it in 1928.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Closure: Joan of Arc Museum

A museum detailing the life and death of the French heroine Joan of Arc could close if nobody offers to buy it.

Opened when patriotism was at its highest in 1955 and regularly visited by the French, eager to learn more about their past.

But now, nearly 40 years later it is thought a lack of interest in history and Joan of Arc has meant the French have turned their back on one of their most famous heroines whose death became a defining moment in history.

Burned at the stake by the English in 1431 in Rouen, a Normandy town, the museum sits in the same square where she perished.

Alain Preaux, the owner of the Musee Jeanne D'Arc is now being forced to shut up shop after being at the helm since 1977 and says that he has more British visitors than French.

Celtic Princess Grave

From BBC News:
German experts are carefully taking apart a complete Celtic grave in the hope of finding out more about the Celts' way of life, 2,600 years ago, in their Danube heartland.

It wasn't the most glorious final journey for an aristocratic Celtic lady who, in life, clearly had a bit of style.

Gold and amber jewellery found in the grave indicate the woman was of high rank She died just over 2,600 years ago and rested in peace until a few months ago when her grave was dug up in its entirety - all 80 tonnes of it - and transported on the back of a truck through countless German towns.

In the grave, too, was a child, presumed to be hers. Their last inglorious journey ended in the back yard of the offices of the archaeological service of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.