Blogs and Events

Read our latest blog posts and find out more about recent events.

Congratulations Alexis Bowater OBE!

The whole of the Astor100 team were delighted and extraordinarily proud to hear the news that the Alexis Bowater, Chair of the Nancy Astor Statue Committee received an OBE in…Read More >

So here we are again… sex and misogyny in Parliament by Dr Jacqui Turner

So here we are again, after a weekend of press and parliamentary misogyny, the subsequent outrage will inevitably simmer down and go away until the next time…and the next time……Read More >

The census: a treasure trove of material for historians by Peter Jolly

In the spirit of the upcoming widening research focus of the Astor100 web pages, we are pleased to present a blog on the importance  and utilisation of the 1921 census by…Read More >

#IWD2022 Benchwarmer to Battleaxe: Nancy Astor and her Maiden Speech, by Abbie Tibbott

Nancy Astor was Britain’s first elected woman to take her seat in Parliament. In a political career that spanned over thirty years, Astor recognised her position as the first female…Read More >

NEWS AND EVENTS: Upcoming update to Astor100 pages

We are in the process of updating the Astor100 pages to create a space for broader research on Astor and the gendererd politics of the interwar period. Please bear with…Read More >

Votes for Women in India: the early female MPs and their lobbying for Indian suffrage by Dr Sumita Mukherjee

This blogpost by Sumita Mukerhjee was first published on Parliament’s UK Vote 100 blog and is reproduced with permission. Just because I am re-reading Sumita’s work, talking to my part…Read More >

‘My early life in Virginia’ by Nancy Astor (edited by Emily Astor)

I was born in Danville Virginia and had three brothers and four sisters , all of whom I adored Lizzie was the eldest , she had pretty eyes and lovely…Read More >

Nancy Astor’s early life in Virginia by James Langhorne

We are delighted to welcome James Langhorne as our guest blogger, James is based in Virginia and is Nancy Astor’s cousin. Here, James describes Nancy Astor’s early life in Virginia….Read More >

NEW ARTICLE!! by Eleanor Lowe, ‘To Keep It in the Family’: Spouses, Seat Inheritance and Parliamentary Elections in Post-Suffrage Britain 1918–1945′ for OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce a new article by Eleanor Lowe in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the Open Library of…Read More >

Female statues: Couldn’t Mary Wollstonecraft have kept her clothes on? by Dr Jacqui Turner

Nobody really knows how many statues of women there are in the UK. It is even more difficult to know what type of women they represent; invariably they are divided…Read More >

TWO NEW ARTICLES!! By Dr Janet Smith and Professor Yvonne Gilligan for OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce TWO NEW ARTICLES by Janet Smith and Yvonne Galligan in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the…Read More >

Female statues: Couldn’t Mary Wollstonecraft have kept her clothes on? by Dr Jacqui Turner

Nobody really knows how many statues of women there are in the UK. It is even more difficult to know what type of women they represent; invariably they are divided…Read More >

NEW ARTICLE!! By Professor Krista Cowman for OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce a new article by Krista Cowman in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the Open Library of…Read More >

TWO NEW articles!! Helen Glew, ‘In a Minority in Male Spaces: The Networks, Relationships and Collaborations between Women MPs and Women Civil Servants, 1919–1955’ and Esther Breitenbach, ‘Scottish Women and Political Representation in the UK and Scottish Parliaments (1918–2020)’

We are delighted to announce TWO new articles by Helen Glew and Esther Breitenbach in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the…Read More >

NEW ARTICLE!! By Dr Mari Takayanagi for OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce another new article in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the Open Library of Humanities. The Special…Read More >

NEW ARTICLE by Lisa Berry-Waite!! OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce another new article in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the Open Library of Humanities. The Special…Read More >

NEW ARTICLE!!! By Dr Anne Logan for OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are delighted to announce another new article in the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor that is now live at the Open Library of Humanities. The Special…Read More >

A 2020 Plymouth perspective on 100 years of women’s suffrage and parliamentary representation by Linda Gilroy

For our latest LONG READ, we are delighted to welcome Linda Gilroy, MP for Plymouth Sutton 1997-2010. Here Linda details Plymouth’s proud history of supporting women’s politics from suffrage to…Read More >

The Astors in Scotland: 100 Years on Jura by Emily Astor

The Astor family name is synonymous with Cliveden and Plymouth however, Scotland was very important to the family too. Waldorf and Nancy Astor first spent time in Scotland shortly after…Read More >

LONG READ: The Faith that Motivated Nancy Astor by Robin Harragin Hussey

We are delighted to post a LONG READ by Robin Harragin Hussey on a much overlooked but fundamental influence on the life of Nancy Astor – her adherence to Christian…Read More >

Remembering Astor in Parliament by Dr Mari Takayanagi

Remembering Astor in Parliament Dr Mari Takayanagi Astor100 has been a great opportunity to promote women’s history in Parliament! As a Senior Archivist in the Parliamentary Archives, I’ve been working…Read More >

The First Article by Professor Pat Thane kicks off our OLH Special Collection: Nancy Astor, Public Women and Gendered Political Culture in Interwar Britain

We are very pleased to announce that the long needed ‘go to’ collection on Nancy Astor is now live at the Open Library of Humanities. The Special Collection is edited by…Read More >

The Mystery Surrounding Nancy Astor’s Birthday by Guy Baxter

Today is Nancy Astor’s birthday – or is it? In this blog from our University Archivist, Guy Baxter, Head of Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire, family home of Waldorf and Nancy…Read More >

The Unpublished Autobiography of Nancy Astor by Lisa Berry-Waite

We are delighted to welcome one of own alumni Lisa Berry-Waite as a guest blogger this week. Lisa is now a studying for a PhD at the University of Exeter,…Read More >

Reflections on Astor 100: An indelible part of our national story by Luke Pollard MP

Astor 100 has been an incredible success. My gender often makes me feel uneasy about writing about Nancy Astor but as the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, near enough…Read More >

Nancy Astor Papers online: ‘An Unconventional MP’ @LadyAstor100

As archives and research centres close their doors due to the government’s corona virus measures, we wanted to remind you that you can see a selection of materials from the…Read More >

Nancy Astor speaks to a Plymouth crowd while campaigning for election in 1919.

Historical Desert Island Discs: Nancy Astor by Dr Jacqui Turner

The History Department at University of Reading are embarking on a new blog series – historical Desert Island Discs. You can find the series via twitter @UniRdg_History or directly on…Read More >

Looking Back on International Women’s Day by Abbie Tibbott

International Women’s Day is celebrating its 109th year, and it is still as relevant as ever to women everywhere. There is so much that has been achieved, but yet so…Read More >

Astor portrait with Emily Astor book

The life, legacy and work of my grandmother, Nancy Astor – by Emily Astor

Astor 100 has meant a huge amount to me personally, primarily it has been a wonderful tribute to the life, legacy and work of my grandmother Nancy Astor, as well…Read More >

‘That Vexed Question’: Nancy Astor’s Maiden Speech by Melanie Khuddro

This month we are celebrating the 100-year mark of Nancy Astor delivering her maiden speech to the House of Commons. A little over two months after becoming the first women…Read More >

A Sculptor’s journey – by Hayley Gibbs

When my design was selected for the statue of Nancy Astor on February 14th 2019, I knew I was embarking on quite a journey. An incredible amount of passion and…Read More >

five women including Theresa May

Astor100 and women’s parliamentary history: where do we go from here? By Dr Jacqui Turner

I have been privileged to be the curator of Astor100, a major bipartisan series of academic and public engagements that have taken place during 2019 and Spring 2020. The programme…Read More >

Unveiling Nancy Astor’s Complicated Legacy – by Professor Julie Gottleib

An important commemoration The centenary commemoration of Nancy Astor’s election to Parliament by a by-election to become the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons couldn’t…Read More >

Viscountess Nancy Astor giving a campaign speech in London, 1941

Brilliant and Vivid Eloquence: Nancy Astor’s Maiden Speech, 24 February 1920 by Professor Judith Rowbotham

One hundred years ago today, on 24 February 1919, Nancy Astor became the first woman to speak in the house of Commons. Here, Professor Rowbotham, an independent scholar and Visiting…Read More >

Woman in House of Commons - Entrance of first lady member

Nancy Astor: 100 years of women in Parliament – Rachel Newton

2019 marked the centenary of Nancy Astor’s entry into Parliament, leaving a fascinating legacy for women today. The National Archives plays host to a variety of documents that illuminate this…Read More >

Celebrating 100 Years of Women in Parliament – 28 November 2019 – What a day!

On 28 November 1919, Nancy Astor was elected to Parliament, becoming the first female MP to take her seat. A century on, a train named in her honour took VIP…Read More >

The journey begins – Astor 100 celebrations 28 November – Tannoy announcements on the Nancy Astor Express

As the Nancy Astor Express makes its inaugural journey to Plymouth for the historic unveiling of a bronze statue to Nancy Astor, four research students from the Department of History…Read More >

PRESS RELEASE: Train retraces Lady Astor’s journey from Parliament to constituency during 100th anniversary celebrations 

A TRAIN named after the first female MP to take her seat in UK parliament will retrace her historic journey between London and her constituency.  A Great Western Railway train, The Nancy Astor,…Read More >

100 years of women in parliament: Why you should vote in this election – by Molly Edwards, Bronwyn Jacobs, Rachel Newton and Abbie Tibbott

On 28 November, two weeks ahead of the General Election, a group of History MA students will witness the unveiling of the first public statue to a British female MP…Read More >

Bessie Le Cras – counting agent for Nancy Astor – By Oonagh Gay

28 November 2019 marks the hundredth anniversary of the election of Nancy Astor as the first woman MP to take her seat in the House of Commons, following a closely…Read More >

Astor’s agent: the professional career of Christopher Briggs – by Dr Kathryn Rix

Nancy Astor’s election agent, Christopher George Briggs was one of a new breed of agents who established the National Society of Conservative Agents. Here,  Dr Kathryn Rix, Assistant Editor of…Read More >

THE NANCY ASTOR STATUE APPEAL – How history is being made again – By Alexis Bowater

“TO be honest with you, we never thought you’d do it,” said many, after we’d smashed our Crowdfunder. Indeed so many that I wondered why not one had said a…Read More >

Almost there… the bronze statue takes shape – 11 October 2019

It’s now less than six weeks until the moment we’ll install a bronze statue of Nancy Astor on Plymouth Hoe to commemorate the first female MP to take her seat…Read More >

Nancy Astor: A Mother in the House by Dr Jacqui Turner

Blog post from The History of Parliament by Dr Jacqui Turner from the University of Reading and PhD student, Kate Meanwell, discussing Nancy Astor’s role as a mother to her five children as…Read More >

Taking #Astor100 Research to Westminster by Rachel Newton

Rachel Newton was one of two Reading undergraduates to take their research to Westminster last week for the annual Posters in Parliament event. Here she tells us about spending her…Read More >

Astor Sculptor chosen

The installation of a statue commemorating Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the UK Parliament moved a step closer this week when a designer was chosen…Read More >

Britain’s first woman to sit in Parliament celebrated with centenary programme

PRESS RELEASE:  27 November 2018 A year-long series of activities and public events celebrating Britain’s first woman to sit in Parliament has launched, leading up to the centenary of her election…Read More >

THE LONG READ: Nancy Astor – pioneering, problematic and feminist by default by Professor Julie Gottlieb and Dr Jacqui Turner

Today is the 99th anniversary of Lady Nancy Astor’s election to Parliament in a by-election in Plymouth, becoming the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons….Read More >

Nancy Astor, the first sitting female MP, addressing a large crowd

PRESS RELEASE 02 November: Statue Crowd Funder Launch – UK Prime Minister backs campaign

UK PRIME MINISTER BACKS CAMPAIGN TO RAISE A STATUE TO LADY NANCY ASTOR Release Date 02 November 2018 UK Prime Minister Theresa May has backed a campaign to erect a…Read More >