Stories of Women 2019 - A Day of Talks Exploring Women’s History

Heritage Talk Special Event
  • Venue

    Cathedral Library

  • Time

    10:00 AM

  • Price

    £12.50 - £10

  • Book Tickets

As part of Women's History Month, Southwark Cathedral invites you to join us for a day of talks about women, looking at their stories, old and new.

Jennifer Potter -The Jamestown Brides: the true story of young Englishwomen traded for tobacco in early Virginia

In 1621, fifty-six Englishwomen crossed the Atlantic in response to the Virginia Company of London's call for maids 'young and uncorrupt' to make wives for the planters of its struggling new colony in Virginia. For each woman 'sold', company investors stood to profit from a bride price of 150lbs of best-leaf tobacco. Who were these brave young women, and what propelled them overseas into a perilous future? Drawing on her researches conducted on both sides of the Atlantic, Jennifer Potter reveals their compelling story.

The Jamestown Brides (Atlantic Books, 2018) is Jennifer Potter's tenth book. She has also written novels, cultural histories of flowers and gardens, a celebrated biography of the John Tradescants, and is currently one of the first Royal Literary Fund Fellows at the British Library (

Past Tense, Present Stories: new historical fiction from the female perspective

Authors from innovative publisher Unbound come together to celebrate the unsung roles of women in our human story, from our earliest survival through to 20th century wartime and the present day, and from the pioneering of shamans, suffragettes, students and scientists to the joy and pain of mothers and lovers. Themes spanning migration, sacrifice and mental health to the forging of professional, artistic and political pathways are explored in a range of fascinating new fiction. Several of the narratives are inspired by, or told in the form of, traditional sources of women’s history: oral storytelling, myth and legend, letters and diaries, arts and crafts.

Please join Stephanie Bretherton (Bone Lines), Miranda Gold (A Small Dark Quiet), Alice Jolly (Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile) and Sarah K Marr (All The Perverse Angels) for talks, readings and signings on Saturday 23rd March at Southwark Cathedral.

Naomi Clifford - ‘The cruellest thing’ – The hanging of Eliza Fenning

Naomi Clifford tells the story of a notorious 1815 poisoning case.

1815: When her employer’s family became ill after a dinner of steak and dumplings Eliza Fenning was charged with attempted murder, found guilty at a hasty and shambolic trial and executed outside Newgate prison. Naomi Clifford explores the short life of a Regency servant whose case became one of the most contentious of the age.

Naomi Clifford is the author of Women and the Gallows 1797-1837The Disappearance of Maria Glenn and The Murder of Mary Ashford, published by Pen & Sword.

Kelcey Wilson-Lee - Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Children of Edward I

In this vibrant account of the five daughters of the great English king, Edward I, Kelcey Wilson-Lee reveal the lives of these sisters – Eleanora, Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth – who ran the full gamut of experiences open to royal women in the Middle Ages. Living as they did in a courtly culture founded on romantic longing and brilliant pageantry, they knew that a princess was to be chaste yet a mother to many children, preferably sons, meek yet able to influence a recalcitrant husband or even command a host of men-at-arms. Edward’s daughters were of course expected to cement alliances and secure lands and territory by making great dynastic marriages, or endow religious houses with royal favour. But they also skilfully managed enormous households, navigated choppy diplomatic waters and promoted their family’s cause throughout Europe – and had the courage to defy their royal father. They might never wear the crown in their own right, but they were utterly confident of their crucial role in the spectacle of medieval kingship.

Kelcey Wilson-Lee is a historian of Britain, its art and its architecture. She earned her doctorate in medieval history, writing on how the medieval English aristocracy used art to commemorate their dead. She is passionate about recreating lost worlds by using the objects, spaces, and aesthetics that were significant to them.

A ticket for the day allows entry to each talk.

Books for each talk will be available to purchase.

Your ticket entitles you to 10% off in the Cathedral Refectory and Shop. Please ensure you have your ticket with you if you decide to use this facility for lunch or wish to purchase from the shop.


What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is no parking in the vicinity of the Cathedral. We are a five minute walk away from London Bridge Station for Underground and Mainline trains. A number of buses also stop nearby either on London Bridge, at the station or at Borough High Street. For more information we recommend using

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please contact Ruth Miller at

Does the ticket price include all the talks?

Yes - ticket holders can attend all the talks on the day or pick and choose individual talks.

Are the talks in the Cathedral?

No due to our regular services and other events taking place these talks are held in the elegant Cathedral Library.