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violetriga
292334.  Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:41 am Reply with quote

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,2262450,00.html
Quote:
Rolf Dammann, the co-owner of a Norwegian bank, recently had his skiing holiday interrupted by some unwelcome news. The government had published a list of 12 companies accused of breaking the law by failing to appoint women to 40% of their non-executive board directorships. His company, Netfonds Holding ASA, was one of the dirty dozen - attracting international attention.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7284134.stm
Quote:
Italy's highest appeal court has ruled that married Italian women who commit adultery are entitled to lie about it to protect their honour.

The court gave its landmark ruling after hearing the case of a 48-year-old woman, convicted of giving false testimony to police by denying she had lent her mobile phone to her lover.

The appeal court did not agree that she had broken the law.

 
Ian Dunn
351529.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:44 am Reply with quote

I think I have found someone who could be ranked alongside many others as a QI patron saint: Hannah Snell.



Snell (c. 1720-1789) had married a Dutch sailor when she was 20, but he abandoned her when she was seven months pregnant. After the baby died, Snell decided to hunt down her husband, so in 1745 she took some clothes from her brother-in-law, James Gray, and took James Gray as a false identity. She then went on board a British warship and surved as a marine.

No-one spotted the fact that she was a woman for five years, mainly due to the fact that for the male sailors it was unthinkable that a woman to be a sailor. Snell was even stripped to the waist and whipped, but no-one twigged onto the fact that Snell's breasts were a dead giveaway. One person wrote that:

Quote:
The boatswain of the ship, taking notice of her breasts, seemed surprised, and said they were the most like a woman's he ever saw; but as no person on board ever had the least suspicion of her sex, the whole dropped without any further notice being taken.


In 1748, Snell (as Gray) was drinking with some shipmates when she turned to the sailor she was sharing her sleeping accommodation with and said:

Quote:
Had you known, Master Moody, who you had between the sheets with you, you would have come to closer quarters. In a word, gentlemen, I am as much a woman as my mother ever was, and my real name is Hannah Snell.


After tell this, the crew praised her, and Master Moody even proposed to her, but Snell refused, due to her past experiences. Later how however, she discovered that her husband had been executed for murder. This made her, "determined to acquire some honour in the expedition, and so distinguish herself by her intrepid behaviour."

She had some expereinces of this intrepidness. When she was 9, she formed her playmates into a company of troops and marched them around her hometown of Worcester. Her hardness came into use in 1748, when during the siege of Pondicherry, India, she was shot in both her leg and her groin. In hospital, she suffered both physically and mentally, constantly worried about her identity being discovered by the doctors. So, rather than letting the surgeons remove the shot from her groin, Snell dug her finger and thumb into the deep narrow wound and pulled the shot out herself.

After returning to England in 1750, she made a living in the theatre, singing sea shanties and performing military marches indressed in her old uniform. Her portrait was painted several times, a biography was written about her and Snell herself opened a pub in Wapping called "The Widow in Masquerade". R. Walker, the first to write a biography of Snell entitled The Female Sailor: or, the Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell in 1750, wrote of her stage career that:

Quote:
She was contracted on a stipend that not one woman in ten thousand of her low extraction and want of literature could by any act of industry (how laborious soever) with any possibility procure.


Snell went on to marry twice (but sadlyt, not Master Moody). However, her health got worse and she eventually went mad. She went to Bethlehem Hospital (where we get the word "Bedlam" from), where she died in 1789.

Source: Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics by William Donaldson

 
jonp
351729.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:24 pm Reply with quote

Brilliant, Ian. Thank you for that - it's the best thing I've read all day.

 
Ian Dunn
351746.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:37 pm Reply with quote

jonp wrote:
Brilliant, Ian. Thank you for that - it's the best thing I've read all day.


Thank you very much. ^_^

 
bookworm
351750.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:40 pm Reply with quote

that is a truly amazing story! thanks :)

 
Ian Dunn
351755.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:46 pm Reply with quote

bookworm wrote:
that is a truly amazing story! thanks :)


I know. I just brought this book yesterday, mainly because it is one recommended by QI (see the QI Idler and the "Endings" episode). I just flicked through the book and discovered her. I read the story and thought it had to be something to be shared.

 
bookworm
351763.  Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:52 pm Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
bookworm wrote:
that is a truly amazing story! thanks :)


I know. I just brought this book yesterday, mainly because it is one recommended by QI (see the QI Idler and the "Endings" episode). I just flicked through the book and discovered her. I read the story and thought it had to be something to be shared.


definately, it was a fantastic read :)

 

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