Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sandi Toksvig's top 10 unsung heroines | Books | The Guardian

Sandi Toksvig is well known for her TV and radio work as a broadcaster, writer and actor, and currently chairs Radio 4's News Quiz and presents Excess Baggage. Her numerous books for children include Hitler's Canary, based upon her family's experiences in Nazi-occupied Denmark, was published in 2005 to considerable acclaim. Her latest, Girls Are Best, is a knockabout look at the overlooked achievements of women down the ages.

Buy Sandi Toksvig books at the Guardian bookshop

"When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. "This is often considered to be man's first attempt at a calendar" she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. 'My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman's first attempt at a calendar.'

"It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women's contributions? How often had I sped past them as I learned of male achievement and men's place in the history books? Then I read Rosalind Miles's book The Women's History of the World (recently republished as Who Cooked the Last Supper?) and I knew I needed to look again. History is full of fabulous females who have been systematically ignored, forgotten or simply written out of the records. They're not all saints, they're not all geniuses, but they do deserve remembering."

Follow the link below to read about these inspiring women, all but forgotten:

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