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Jubilant London

“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.”

Samuel Johnson – author (September 18, 1709 – December 13, 1784)


LONDON is electric at the moment.

Maybe it was the brief few days of a heatwave – and by heatwave I mean sunny and over 20 degrees for a couple of days – that has charged the atmosphere with palpable energy but Britain seems Great again.

It appears David Cameron has fixed the country! Nice one Dave. Cheers mate.

There is a definite celebratory air but then we do have a few big things to get our knickers in a twist over this summer such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and best of all the fact that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is being shown on an outdoor screen at Somerset House. Pimms o’clock or what?

This weekend the bunting is adorning the country’s buildings and will no doubt also become attached to several drunk chaps who find themselves wrapped around lampposts with small triangles of the Union Jack.

As the Queen marks 60 years of her reign and listens to the likes of all her knights and dames – Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey and erm, JLS – in a concert outside Buckingham Palace, scores of Brits will be partying like it’s 1999.

There will be picnics in parks, trestle tables piled sky-high with dry potted meat and cucumber sarnies and pubs filled to bursting with folks making the most of a four-day bank holiday weekend. God bless the Queen.

Not that Brits need an excuse to go down the boozer. If things are good – sink a pint, if things are bad – sink a pint. You can, of course, substitute a pint for a good old cuppa – ideally accompanied by a chocolate Hobnob.

One nibble and a few seconds later the whole packet’s gone.

Most folks I know are staying well away from London during the Olympics. A mass exodus is going on to anywhere but the Big Smoke from July 27 to August 12.

London’s Mayor Boris will love it because he’ll be able to get around on his bike without being harangued or harassed.

My only worry is that visitors will think they’ve spotted one of the Fraggles pedalling around like a lunatic.

The only people who’ll be in London during the Olympics, besides Boris, are the athletes – who’ll be nowhere near the centre – and Americans, as far as I can discern, who love Britain.

We have great music, great comedy, great literature, great history, great architecture, great Press, great greenery, great nights out, great breakfasts, great biscuits, great tea, terrible weather, poor transport services, and constant moaning but, deep down, there is that indomitable spirit.

I’ll hammer home my point by adding hot buttery crumpets, bangers and mash, Marmite, Twirls, and words and phrases like ‘luv’, ‘alright treacle’, ‘me old china’ and ‘flower’ – especially when men use them between themselves as terms of endearment.

Then there’s Bonfire Night, Sunday lunch and James Bond movies on a Sunday afternoon.

And though we’re a small island that is almost three times smaller than the state of Texas, we are home to the oldest football club in the world, we discovered the Periodic Table and the first Briton in space was a woman. We invented the telephone, television and even the World Wide Web.

Apologies, I’m sorry, but Britain really is Great.

And here, in a snapshot of a couple of days in London, are yet more reasons why…

Jay-Z or Jean Michel Jarre?

BRITAIN’S brightest comics are gathered in an underground bunker near Old Street Tube.

It sounds very Keep Calm and Carry On but the only danger afoot here is not getting your pizza delivered at half time.

Not that we’ve ordered pizza – me and my pal will geekily share an egg mayo sarnie during the interval.

Our other two friends though have ordered the pizza from the restaurant upstairs. Oh the joys of living in the 21st century.

This is the City Arts and Music Project and we’re here for the Laughing Boy Comedy Club where comedians from Channel 4’s Stand Up For The Week are trying out their latest material.

There’s the likes of Jon Richardson, Seann Walsh, Josh Widdicombe, Sara Pascoe, Andrew Lawrence and Paul Chowdhry all for the not-so-princely sum of £4. A genuine bargain.

The sarnies we’re eating are a remnant from earlier in the day when I met up with a colleague for a cuppa at a nearby Pret A Manger.

As we were leaving, we were delighted when the manageress asked us if we wanted to take any of the sandwiches “because the charity can’t come today and they’ll all go to waste otherwise”.

In that truly British way we spent about five minutes saying, “Really? Are you sure?” before going for the least extravagant thing on offer. Not for us a hoisin duck wrap or a wild crayfish and rocket bloomer.

There is that apologetic demeanour at work in full glory.

I apologise yet again to the doorman at the comedy club for having to ascend the Bond-like evil subterranean lair to use my phone.

I’m very polite so I don’t rudely use my phone when I’m in the company of friends.

Anyway, I was using my phone to text my friend where we were because the place – being about 100 foot below the streets of London – was somewhat tricky to locate.

Luckily I am naturally good with directions so can impart our whereabouts with ease.

It’s always the folks who have an iPhone who ask you where the train station is.

You’re the one with the piece of satellite communication! Use it!

It seems technology is shrinking intellect. How can you not just know north, south, east and west?

I retreat into Blofeld’s den and settle myself for the show.

The compere Suzi Ruffell is brilliant.

But then, for me, she didn’t have to be.

I don’t know what it is but there’s something about seeing live stand-up comedy with your friends that is hilarious. Even if the comics aren’t funny.

Perhaps they pump laughing gas into these places or maybe it’s just the fact you can always share a giggle with your pals.

If the comedian is funny you laugh together at his or her observations. If they’re not, you guffaw in embarrassment for them or chuckle because you’re reminded of something else.

The comedians on the bill tonight are particular favourites anyway. Then again, I am a big fan of British comedy full stop.

It’s just so… good. And so… funny.

As part of my job I’m lucky to have interviewed and spent time with the likes of David Mitchell, Kayvan Novak, Johnny Vegas, Nicholas Parsons, Kevin Bishop and Robert Powell (think The Detectives not Jesus or Holby City) at various events like the TV BAFTAs, the British Comedy Awards, and the Loaded Laftas.

It’s like being in your very own sitcom, hanging out with these guys.

Like how David Mitchell became Mark Corrigan when accosted by a beautiful blonde lady at the bar.

Despite her advances, he told her: “It just wouldn’t work because, well, you’re you, and I’m… well I’m me.”

Mitchell and Robert Webb’s BAFTA-winning comedy Peep Show is a personal favourite of mine.

It’s sometimes nice to have Mark and Jez on in the background when I’m tidying up or washing the pots. It’s like I’m their third housemate.

One of the most memorable scenes for me is when they go on a double date to the theatre to see a rubbish play.

Mark: “If this was on television, no one would be watching.”

Jez: “Oh God, why aren’t we watching television?”

Mark: “I can’t believe coming here cost more than a film.”

Jez: “I’ve got Heat on DVD at home. We’re watching this, when for less money we could be watching Robert De Niro AND Al Pacino.”

Mark: “I’m going to pretend I am watching Heat.”

Jez: “Ok. Let’s pretend we’re just watching Heat.”

This is a sentiment I’ve had at various events from time to time and Mark and Jez’s Heat tactic is one I use.

I used the Heat tactic when I went to see Jay-Z – or Jay-Zed as I prefer to call him, in a similar way I call Will.I.Am William – and Kanye West at London’s O2.

Obviously these two fellas are very good at what they do and sell millions of records but they’re not exactly my cup of tea. I quite like some of the melodies – mainly because they’ve been nicked from songs I like such as Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – but I’m not such a big fan of the words or the way in which the words are shouted rather than sung.

You may be wondering why I went to see these blokes if they’re not music to my ears.

I went as a guest of my friend along with a load of journalists and PRs and watched from a box right at the back of the arena which had big comfy sofas.

Perfect. I could sit on one of the settees and pretend I was watching De Niro and Pacino at work.

I did wander onto the balcony area though to see the show. And luckily, because of the giant images of the likes of sharks and leopards, I could also pretend I was watching Planet Earth with the true legend that is Sir David Attenborough.

My mind wandered to the privilege I had of meeting this great man and him assuring me that he wouldn’t retire.

It lasted a while but then the noise was too much. Attenborough whispers for goodness sake. He doesn’t, as far as I know, rap.

So then, thanks to the neon light projections and the smattering of electronic samples I pretended I was watching French synthesiser supremo Jean Michel Jarre.

Oxygene Part IV anyone?

The encore went on and on and on. It was the same song done about six times. I’m not just saying that because I’m not an aficionado of the music, it genuinely was just one song on repeat.

Clearly it’s a crowd fave because they went crazy for it.

Mr Zed and Mr West acknowledge this because they shouted out for about 15 minutes, “That s*** cray.”

And just to reiterate the fact, the words kept popping up on the screens.

I was in no doubt they were saying, “That s*** cray.”

Hang on a minute though. How lazy has the world become that we have to shorten a two-syllable word?

I’m later informed by someone more knowledgeable than me that ‘cray’ is not short for crazy but instead refers to the 60s London crime lords the Kray twins.

I don’t know if that’s true but if it is in a way that’s worse because they spelled it with a ‘C’ instead of a ‘K’.

I’m sure Monsieur Jarre wouldn’t have made such a schoolboy error.

Maybe though there’s another explanation.

Perhaps Jay and K had a similar experience to the one I had at Pret and had been offered free sarnies when they nipped in for a brew before one of their gigs.

“Take any of the sandwiches,” the manageress told them.

“Any? Any at all?” Kanye asked.

“Yes, otherwise they’ll just go to waste.”

“Ok, I’ll take the wild crayfish and rocket bloomer. That s*** cray,” said Jay-Z enthusiastically.

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Shaken and stirred

“The name’s Bond, James Bond.” (007, born November 16)

Sir Roger Moore: The longest-serving Bond

AROUND this time of year 60 years ago former journalist Ian Fleming was writing up to 2000 words each day which would, just a few weeks later, come together to bring to the world Bond, James Bond.

And a decade later, on January 16, 1962, filming started on the first James Bond movie Dr. No.

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning,” is the opening line to Casino Royale – the first in Fleming’s series of adventures featuring 007.

The tome was published in 1953 and within a month nearly 5000 copies were sold in the midst of rave reviews.

Live and Let Die came out a year later, followed by Moonraker in 1955.

Fleming, who worked for Reuters and the Sunday Times, subsequently published a book a year until his death at the age of 56 in 1964.

Dr. No, which transferred Bond’s escapades from the page to the screen, was written in 1958.

And it was in part down to US President John F. Kennedy – a huge 007 fan – who helped get Bond onto film.

JFK loved Fleming’s books and he promoted the character to his friends in Hollywood, including Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman who bought the rights.

Originally Cary Grant was wanted but it was Sean Connery (now Sir) who eventually slipped on the tuxedo.

In Dr. No, Connery walked onto the screen as the dashing secret agent with a penchant for vodka martinis shaken not stirred and intoxicated fans with his charisma.

The film saw Bond investigating a colleague’s disappearance in Jamaica.

He happens upon Bond girl Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress, who emerges from the ocean wearing a racy white bikini in what would become one of cinema’s most iconic scenes.

The duo are capture by shady SPECTRE organisation scientist Dr. No who is sabotaging the US space programme.

Bond of course makes a daring escape and ends up sailing away with Honey as the villain’s lair explodes.

It was the start of an incomparable movie series which has seen six men play the superspy – Sean, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and current operative Daniel Craig.

French actresses Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve were both in the running to play Bond’s ill-fated wife Tracy in that film but it ultimately went to Diana Rigg.

George Lazenby: One-time 007

What else makes a quintessential Bond movie?

Baddies, of course, who are usually the owner of a fluffy white cat (Blofeld), a set of metal gnashers (Jaws) or rather lethal footwear (Rosa Klebb).

And it could have been a very different story if David Bowie had accepted the role of Max Zorin in A View To A Kill rather than Christopher Walken.

Then there’s the gadgets,  a selection of which Q gives to Bond who miraculously uses them all in the course of his mission.

How about the Bell Textron jet pack from Thunderball? According to Bond, “No well-dressed man should be without one.”

The crocodile submarine from Octopussy? Brilliant.

And some gizmos have multiple uses – like the magnetic Rolex that can deflect bullets and unzip a lady’s dress. Genius.

And what about the cool motors like the white Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me? Or the cars in The Man With The Golden Gun. Not only is the AMC Matador one of the coolest things on four wheels, it also transforms into a plane. And the AMC Hornet performs one of the most stunning stunts in movie history – a corkscrew twist over a river during a high-octane getaway.

There’s also the peerless Aston Martin DB5 which comes with an array of modifications across several Bond movies including revolving number plates, tyre shredders, rocket boosters and a glove box that keeps the Bolly on ice. Of course.

It’s Bond’s jet-set lifestyle that keeps fans hooked too.

If he’s not wooing a beauty inside an iceberg submarine in Siberia (which was actually Iceland), he’s in the French Quarter in New Orleans trying to outwit Kananga. If he’s not in the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur in India surrounded by a bevy of babes, he’s in Thailand playing a lethal game of hide and seek with Scaramanga.

Another key element to a Bond movie is the theme tune.

Many artists wrote and recorded songs for Bond bosses to consider as theme tunes – if only Saint Etienne’s version of Tomorrow Never Dies had been used…

Paul McCartney & Wings’ Live and Let Die was the first Bond theme to be nominated for an Academy Award and should have won.

Vocal vamp Shirley Bassey was so good she did it three times – Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

And Carly Simon summed Bond up when she crooned, “Nobody Does It Better.”

Why does nobody do it better than Bond?

It’s been said time and time again that men want to be him and women want to be with him. If you’re a fan it’s more like a mixture of the two, whether you’re male or female.

He’s exciting, adventurous, intelligent, quick-witted, dapper, charming and very old-school British.

It’s why Miss Moneypenny can’t resist telling him in You Only Live Twice: “Bond, the password chosen for this mission is ‘I love you.’ Say it back to me so I can be sure you’ve got it.”

He’s certainly got it. He’s a human Swiss Army knife – he has something for everyone in every situation.

In From Russia With Love, Fleming wrote: “Name: Bond, James. Height: 183 cm, weight: 76kg; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek & on left shoulder; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women.”

This year, the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Bond movie, is set to be something special.

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said last week: “We have a whole programme of exciting activities planned for our 50th anniversary year.”

According to reports, all six Bonds will come face to face for the first time after the autumn premiere of the 23rd Bond film, Skyfall.

MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are launching BOND 50, featuring all 22 Bond movies on Blu-ray for the first time.

Even the Royal Mail are marking the occasion with a set of commemorative movie poster stamps.

Craig recently told how he’s lining up a treat for Bond fans in Skyfall.

He said he and director Sam Mendes were planning something of an homage to the hit movie franchise.

He said: “He’s a huge Bond fan like me. We’ve been working on it quietly for two years.

“We’ve been taking all the favourite bits of our favourite Bond movies and putting them together so we can reintroduce them in this movie.”

Sounds like a licence to thrill!

“We have all the time in the world.” (James Bond to wife Tracy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

* Sir Roger Moore is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. If you were shaken and stirred by this prose, please visit unicef.org

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Welcome to allthewritenotes on International Women’s Day

TODAY, March 8, 2011, is the 100th annual International Women’s Day.

What better day is there to pay homage to the amazing and inspiring women who have given the world a lasting legacy?

Most of these women are or were ahead of their time; independent free-thinkers and creative tour de forces who embody the immense and extraordinary qualities of being a woman.

Much of their accomplishments are striking irrespective of gender but perhaps all the more important because of it.

Here are just a handful of the countless women who indefatigably and unapologetically left their mark on the past, the present and the future.

I highlight the following figures but it is by no means an exhaustive list, merely one which has been randomly cherry-picked; Immense orchards of wisdom and awe, of strength and courage, of science, art and love that our foremothers have left growing with fortitude, never to wither or be uprooted.


SAPPHO (circa 630 BC)

LITTLE is known about Ancient Greek lyrical poet Sappho.

She is one of the first published female writers, though hardly any of her work survives.

The pen is mightier than the sword and most women in history who have shone out have done so along with the power of their words.

Sappho married a wealthy merchant, had a daughter, and studied arts. She wrote beautiful poetry and composed melodies for her lines.

Held in high regard by Plato, she also established a performing arts school for girls.


JOAN OF ARC (circa January 6, 1412 – May 30, 1431)

AT just 17, Joan of Arc stormed to victory as she led the French in the Battle of Orleans.

Joan said she received her first divine vision when she was 13 and later predicted the outcome of military action during the war between the French and English.

Through sheer determination she ended up riding as a knight with the army and leading them to triumph. During her brief leadership she was unparalleled in her success.

Joan was subsequently tried for heresy and burnt at the stake. Five centuries later she was made a saint.

Joan, or Jeanne D’Arc, in her own words:

“Get up tomorrow early in the morning, and earlier than you did today, and do the best that you can. Always stay near me, for tomorrow I will have much to do and more than I ever had…”

“Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.”

“I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”


ELIZABETH I (September 7, 1533 – March 24, 1603)

IF ever there were a testament to Great Britain, Elizabeth I was she.

The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn – who was executed when she was just a toddler – Elizabeth was never expected to become queen.

She was 25 when she took the throne and reigned supreme for 45 years, making the country a formidable force at home and on the world stage.

Elizabeth was intelligent and loved the arts. Her rule was dubbed the golden age as learning and literature took hold.

Elizabeth I in her own words:

“It is a natural virtue incident to our sex to be pitiful of those that are afflicted.”

“All my possessions for a moment of time.”

“Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.”


MARIE CURIE (November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934)

THE achievements of scientist Marie Curie cannot be underestimated.

Marie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize – and the first person and only woman to win in two different categories.

Her research into radioactivity won her the first prize for physics in 1903. Her second was in 1911 for chemistry after discovering radium and polonium.

Her legacy is outstanding, irrespective of her gender.

Marie in her own words:

“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”

“All my life through, the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child.”

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”


ELEANOR ROOSEVELT (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962)

ELEANOR Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

But even if she hadn’t been elevated to public consciousness by her being married to President FDR she would without doubt still have been one of the great humanitarians ever known.

She campaigned on human rights and women’s rights for most of her life and was described as having effervescence and boundless optimism.

She was the head of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights and helped draw up the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Eleanor in her own words:

“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.”

“As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticised anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”


ROSA PARKS (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005)

PEACEFUL activist Rosa Parks was famous for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in Alabama on December 1, 1955.

Rosa wasn’t the first African-American woman to not budge from her seat. Others before her include Lizzie Jennings, Irene Morgan, Sarah Louise Keys and 15-year-old Claudette Colvin.

But her subsequent arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted over a year and to this day is one of the most successful mass protests against racial segregation in history.

Rosa’s decision to sit firm that day meant she became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. Her daring action and its subsequent effects is the epitome of a graceful but powerful fight against injustice.

Rosa in her own words:

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”

“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.”


MARILYN MONROE (June 1, 1926 – August, 5 1962)

MARILYN Monroe remains one of the most iconic figures in cinema and popular culture. Good looking and glamorous, many are quick to dismiss her.

But she had a sense of humour and intellect that her appearance belied. She loved to read and had a huge library of books including works by Milton, Dostoevsky and Hemingway.

She had a troubled childhood, much of which was spent in the Hollygrove orphanage in Hollywood and in foster homes.

But she was a tenacious steadfast student and went on to star in a whole host of classic movies including the delightful Some Like It Hot for which she won rave reviews.

Marilyn in her own words:

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”

“I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.”

“Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.”


AUDREY HEPBURN (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993)

BRITISH actress Audrey spent a lot of her childhood in the Netherlands during World War II. As a youngster she helped the Allied forces and donated much of her own food to those less fortunate.

Drawing and ballet lifted her spirits during this period. She also worked as a volunteer nurse looking after wounded Allied soldiers. After the war she went to London and began acting.

Charming in all her roles and beautiful inside and out, it is perhaps in her role as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF that Audrey found her true calling.

She travelled extensively to the world’s trouble spots meeting children and using her fame to raise funds for the organisation. Audrey said of her work with UNICEF: “I’ve been auditioning my whole life for this role, and I finally got it.”

Audrey in her own words:

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

“The most important thing is to enjoy life – to be happy – that’s all that matters.”


ANNE FRANK (June 12, 1929 – March 1945)

Like most teenage girls, Anne Frank sought solace in writing in a diary.

But Anne’s journal was written while the 13-year-old Jewish girl was in hiding in Holland during World War II.

And her words became even more poignant because Anne was the voice of over one million children who died in the Holocaust.

Her book – which she dreamed of being published after the war – is one of the most read books in the world.

Anne in her own words:

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”


And of course, THE EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ALL AROUND US!

Were it not for the wonderful women in my life, I would not be who I am. In them I find daily wit, wisdom and winsome ways.

On this, International Women’s Day, take a moment to reflect on the loving and powerful women in your life and all the other women who inspire us with their words and deeds, their impact on history and their creativity and femininity including the Anguissola sisters, Jane Austen, Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, the Bronte sisters, Maria Callas, Cleopatra, Coco Chanel, Princess Diana, Emily Dickinson, Amelia Earhart, George Eliot, Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale, Edith Piaf, Mary Shelley, Marie Spartali Stillman, the Suffragettes, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Sigourney Weaver, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf… ad infinitum.

Here’s to International Women’s Day. Even James Bond is getting in on the act…

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