Cross-dressed to Kill - with author Vivien Morgan (ONLINE TICKET)

Cross-dressed to Kill - with author Vivien Morgan (ONLINE TICKET)

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Join us ONLINE for this fascinating story of women who dressed as men to join the fight!

About this event

Cross-dressed to Kill - Women Who Went to War Disguised as Men by Vivien Morgan answers the question of why young women dressed as men to fight as soldiers in the 17th to 20th centuries.

There were literally hundreds of known women cross-dressers in Britain, across Europe and in the Americas, yet they have been erased from both social and military history.

This book spotlights these fascinating women cross-dressers and fighters.

The bravery of these women masquerading as men and the risks they took were great. The penalty for cross-dressing in this period was harsh, including the death penalty because it was seen as an unnatural act that threatened society and offended social morality. That was the sin for which Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.

Cross-dressed to Kill - with author Vivien Morgan (ONLINE TICKET) image

Image above: Pirates Mary Read and Ann Bonny, cca 1720

Their hope for a better life was ‘to seek entrance into the barred world of men- by not being women, by denying their femaleness', writes the feminist Sheila Rowbotham. They were fearless, ‘tomboys’, early feminists and decidedly full of what the newspapers called ‘pluck and spunk’.

They watched their fathers, husbands and brothers head off to war, before breaking free from domesticity and joining the army too. Betty Friedan, doyenne of the feminist movement asks ’why should women have a half-life?’ The cross-dressing women answer that by their actions.

They were young women for whom ‘patriotism has no sex’ held true and who were determined to fight for their country. So what happened to them in countless battles and wars around the world?

Come along and find out!

Cross-dressed to Kill - with author Vivien Morgan (ONLINE TICKET) image

About the speaker:

Vivien Morgan is a former TV News Journalist and documentary producer, who picked up a camera to become a TV Videojournalist pioneer. Travelling undercover she reported from the closed Communist countries, from Tibet and Myanmar and later from much of Sub-Saharan and West Africa, as well as the Middle East and Iran.

Her Videojournalism: History, pioneers, theory and practise was published in 2017.

Vivien's fascination with these historic young women who cross-dressed in the 17th-20th centuries came from her own experience of what it meant to hide your identity to get your story, but not going as far as swapping skirts for trousers and signing-up for the army to fight! Fascination turned into research and ended up with this book to commemorate them.

Cross-dressed to Kill - with author Vivien Morgan (ONLINE TICKET) image


Please note that this event will be presented as a hybrid or blended event - it will take place in Kensington Central Library lecture hall and will be streamed online at the same time.

If you would like to join us in person in Kensington Central Library lecture hall, click HERE.

Those who book via THIS LISTING will receive the Zoom link to join in the day before, and on the day of the event.

We look forward to welcoming you to our programme!

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