11 June 2005

Crossdressing Women

BBC - Radio 4 - Woman's Hour -Army women

Just heard a feature on Radio 4 about women who crossdressed in the 18th century. Not for fun, but because they wanted to something that was prohibited to women at the time for instance join the armed forces, or the choices available to them as women were not appealing, seamstress, prostitution. They ran great risks because if caught the penalties could be high, the French favoured burning at the stake. The guest interviewee, Vivien Morgan, talked about Hannah Snell. who after her husband deserted her in 1747 donned male clothing in order to search for him. She joined the Army but quickly transferred to Royal Marines. She was able to hide her true sex until in 1750 when she choose to reveal she was a woman.

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