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Feisty Women

Published on March 8th, 2022

Today (8th March 2022) marks International Women's Day. We hope you enjoy looking at this evocative selection of historical photographs from The Francis Frith Collection of female characters in past times, accompanied by inspiring quotes from strong women.

Photo: Launceston, Fore Street 1893.


A woman is like a teabag – only in hot water do you realise how strong she is.
Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the USA 1981-1898

Photo: Downderry, Cave Dwellers 1901.


I’m not hard. I’m frightfully soft. But I will not be hounded.
Margaret Thatcher, born 1925, the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain

Photo: Strathpeffer, Highland Girls Wringing The Washing c.1890.


Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
Janis Joplin, 1943-1970, American singer and songwriter

Photo: Tan-Y-Bwlch, Ffestiniog Railway, Bessie Jones, The Station Mistress 1935.


Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.
Charlotte Whitton, 1896-1975, Canadian feminist and Mayor of Ottawa

Photo: Shetland, Island Woman Carrying Peat c.1890.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the USA 1933-1945

Photo: London, Cheapside, Apple Seller c.1890.


It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.

Oprah Winfrey, born 1954, American TV host and author

Photo: Coldingham, A Scottish Fish Wife And Crofter's Cottage c.1932.


The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.
Roseanne Barr, born 1952, American actress

Photo: Downderry, 1894.


I’m the girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.
Mae West, 1893-1980, American actress and sex symbol

Photo: Aldershot, Couple Playing Chess By The Bathing Pool 1931.


Well behaved women rarely make history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, born 1938, American feminist historian

Photo: Staithes, Baiting The Lines c.1900.


If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.

Catherine Aird, born 1930, author

Photo: Caernarfon, A Welsh Tea Party c.1900.


Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
Marie Curie, 1867-1934, chemist and pioneering physicist in the field of radioactivity

Photo: Tenby, Llangwm Fishwives 1890.


Ladies – disregard your limitations!
The singer K T Tunstall, born 1975, at the Brit Awards of 2006

Photo: Ambleside, Stepping Stones 1888.


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