Author: Pen Hemingway

International Women's Day

IWD: battle-axes and shield-maidens

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the examples of strong women over the years, with clear evidence that women warriors have existed across cultures. Women have fought throughout history. So, to all battle-axes and shield-maidens out there – “shield wall!”

My experience of living with long covid

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway describes her experience of living with long covid, having caught covid in March, at a time when treatment was refused and symptoms were denied. “This is one roller-coaster nobody is getting off any time soon.”


Stillingfleet Tragedy near York, Boxing Day 1833

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks back at the 1833 Boxing Day Stillingfleet Tragedy and delves through the witness accounts and historical records to piece together what happened. Her research revealed surprising links to her own family.

“Primarily drinking British gin”: admissions to an 18th century York asylum

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the history of The Retreat, an 18th century Quaker-run asylum in York which pioneered treatment for the mentally ill. Hemingway writes about some of the patients admitted to the hospital, and how they were treated. “The Retreat may well have been a pioneer in terms of its treatment of its patients, but many of us will be grateful of being born in somewhat more enlightened days that allowed us to avoid ending up there.”


Wife for sale

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the 19th century practice of ‘wife sales’. Looked down on by middle-class journalists of the time, the act may in fact have been a way for women, still the legal property of their husbands, to escape abusive or unhappy marriages.