Who is Norfolk’s greatest woman?
- Credit: Archant
To celebrate International Women's Day 2016, we've compiled a list of who we think may be the greatest women to have come out of Norfolk. Vote below for who you think is the county's greatest woman.
• Julian of Norwich
As the first woman known to have published a book in the English language, Lady Julian of Norwich represents the cultural achievements of women, one of the key pillars of International Women's Day. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love, a 14th century work of Christian mystical devotions, established her as one of the most creative theologians and spiritual writers in Christian tradition.
Considered on of Britain's greatest heroines, the Queen of the East Anglian Iceni tribe is best known for leading an uprising against the forces of the Roman Empire in 60 or 61 AD. Her warriors defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, Colchester, before continuing on to destroy Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St Albans). Eventually her forces were defeated, and Boudica is thought to have taken poison to avoid being captured by the enemy.
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• Elizabeth Fry
A prison reformer and social reformer, Fry is known as a major driving force behind legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane and was supported in her efforts by the reigning monarch. In her younger years, spent growing up at Earlham Hall, Fry collected old clothes for the poor, visited those who were sick and started a Sunday school to teach children how to read, but it was a visit to Newgate prison that changed everything for her.
Shocked by the poor conditions for female prisoners, with women and children being overcrowded, sleeping on beds of straw and not being given fair trials, she helped to found the Association for the Reformation of the Female Prisoners in Newgate in 1817, which led to the creation of the British Ladies' Society for promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners - the first nationwide women's organization in Britain.
• Edith Cavell
Cavell was a First World War British nurse who is celebrated today for saving the lives of soldiers in Brussels from all sides without discrimination. She also successfully helped over 200 allied soldiers escape from Belgium, before being arrested and sentenced to death for treason. The day before her death, she is said to have made an inspirational speech, standing by her decision to save all lives and being quoted as saying: 'patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone' and 'I cannot stop while there are lives to be saved.'
• Dorothy Jewson
Jewson was recognised as being a suffragette and socialist, who spent her life campaigning for women's right to vote and helping to make a difference in Norfolk. In 1923 she became Norwich's first female Member of Parliament and from 1927 onwards she focused on local politics, working as a Norwich city councillor to tackle issues surrounding housing and unemployment.
• Diana, Princess of Wales
Born in Norfolk, the 'people's princess' is considered one of the most influential people of the 20th century. A humanitarian, she is well-known for her dedication to helping others, being the patron of over 100 charities at one point in her life, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Centrepoint, The National Aids Trust and The Leprosy Mission. Having been quoted as saying great things such as 'two things stand like stone – kindness in another's trouble – courage in your own' it is not difficult to see why she remains a source of inspiration for many.
• Emma Pooley
A former professional cyclist turned triathlete, Pooley made the history books when she became the first British woman to win a medal in the Olympic time trial, taking home a silver medal in 2008. She was also World Time Trial Champion in 2010 and currently is hoping to once again represent Great Britain in the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio.
• Delia Smith
It would be fair to say that Delia Smith CBE, a chef, TV personality and majority shareholder at Norwich City Football Club has managed to wrangle her way into the hearts of the people of Norfolk. Smith is currently Britain's best-selling cookery author, selling more that 21 million books.
• Cathy Dennis
Dennis is a British singer-songwriter from Norwich who is responsible for the creation of some of the greatest pop hits of recent times, including Britney Spears' 'Toxic', 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' by Kylie Minogue and Katy Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl'. She has also composed songs for The Spice Girls, S Club 7 and Sugababes and achieved critical and commercial success as a result. Most recently she has written three tracks on the Galantis album 'Pharmacy', one of which reached number one in the UK dance charts.
•Who do you think is the greatest woman to come out of Norfolk? Vote in our poll or leave your comments below.