Discover European Culture Through the Eyes of Women

Discover European Culture Through the Eyes of Women

Art • Fashion • Music • Literature
Ancient Greece → Middle Ages → Industrial Era → Modern era
For a complete illustrated fashion timeline year by year 1784-1970 click here.

Hildegard von Bingen

Barbara Strozzi


History of Music


  • Sappho 620 BCE: Psappha in Aeolic dialect. Famous for erotic and passionate poetry.
    • For when I look at you even for a short time, it is no longer possible for me to speak but it is as if my tongue is broken and immediately a subtle fire has run over my skin, I cannot see anything with my eyes, and my ears are buzzing a cold sweat comes over me, trembling seizes me all over, I am paler than grass, and I seem nearly to have died.
  • Marie de France 1100s: Famous for Lais which are short stories in prose and fables.
    • Whoever gets knowledge from God, science, and a talent for speech, eloquence, shouldn’t shut up or hide away; no, that person should gladly display. When everyone hears about some great good then it flourishes as it should; when folks praise it at full power, then the good deed’s in full flower. Among the ancients it was the tradition.
  • Mary Shelly 1797-1851: Famous for giving birth to the scientific horror novel genre.
    • Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.
  • Caitlin Moran 1975: Famous for her book How To Be A Woman. o We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back really bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British women – I used to think, what do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay?