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Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers – this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected.

Highlighting extraordinary women from all walks of life and throughout history, Sappho to Suffrage showcases some of the Bodleian's most remarkable and treasured items.

Sappho was one of the earliest personal voices of world literature, celebrating love and beauty as greater than all the armies of Homer. Her poetry was all but lost for nearly two millennia until fragments from a papyrus roll dating to 2nd century AD were found in excavations in Egypt around 1896. Other literary highlights include Mary Shelley's manuscript of Frankenstein and an early notebook of Jane Austen's.

The exhibition includes photos, ephemera, posters, scrapbooks, postcards and games relating to the UK Women’s suffrage movement and activities such as rallies, education and fundraising. They include a ticket for a rally as well as a banner for the Oxford Women’s Students Society for Women’s Suffrage. Many photographic postcards and portraits of suffrage campaigners are featured, including a photo postcard showing ‘Mrs Pankhurst arrested in Victoria Street, Feb 13 1908.’

Bodleian Library

Broad Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3BG

01865 277627


Opening times

Mon – Sat, 9am – 5pm Sun, 11am - 5pm

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