Review: A Woman Lived Here by Allison Vale

Title: A Woman Lived Here

Author: Allison Vale

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Robinson

The Blurb

At the last count, the Blue Plaque Guide honours 903 Londoners, and a walking tour of these sites brings to life the London of a bygone era. But only 111 of these blue plaques commemorate women.

Over the centuries, London has been home to thousands of truly remarkable women who have made significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life: from politics and social reform, to the Arts, medicine, science, technology and sport. Many of those women went largely unnoticed, even during their own lifetimes, going about their lives quietly but with courage, conviction, skill and compassion. Others were fearless, strident trail-blazers. Many lived in an era when their achievements were given a male name, clouding the capabilities of women in any field outside of the home or field.

A Woman Lived Here shines a spotlight on some of these forgotten women to redress the balance. The stories on these pages commemorate some of the most remarkable of London’s women, who set out to make their world a little richer, and in doing so, left an indelible mark on ours.


The Review

A Woman Lived Here is a non-fiction book focusing on the little blue plaques that adorn places of import in London. They signify that someone important lived at this address. This is a book with intent to highlight the many famous women (whose plaques are dramatically outnumbered by men) and how the contribution of women needs to be celebrated more. Vale highlights the disparity in numbers of these plaques whilst also reminding us to rejoice in the ones that we have.

A Woman Lived Here is only a little book, one I like to think of as a palette cleanser and you really are introduced to some fascinating women. It also highlights how sad it is and what a shame it is that there aren’t more women features in the blue plaque scheme.

Personally, I want to read more of these books. I want to know more about the women who shaped culture from Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham. I think Allison Vale needs to write more books of this ilk.

A Woman Lived Here by Allison Vale is available now.

For more information regarding Allison Vale (@allisonvpvale) please visit her Twitter page.

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