Who are the women in history you admire the most?

Chichester novelist Kate Mosse is launching a global #WomanInHistory campaign to honour and celebrate women in history.

Kate Mosse. Photo credit Ruth Crafer
Kate Mosse. Photo credit Ruth Crafer

The campaign coincides with the release of her new book The City of Tears, which went straight to number one in The Times chart and number two in the Sunday Times.

Readers are invited to get involved in the campaign ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

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Known for her acclaimed historical adventure novels and her campaigning work championing women’s voices as founder director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kate offers #WomanInHistory as a way to make sure women’s achievements from the past and present are heard and honoured.

The #WomanInHistory campaign began during the publication week for The City of Tears at an online event where Kate was joined by Jojo Moyes and special guests Bernardine Evaristo, Ken Follett, Lee Child, Bettany Hughes, Paula Hawkins, Anita Anand and Sara Collins.

They all spoke about the woman in history they most wanted to champion or who they thought should be better known. Kate then officially launched the global public campaign on her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels.

The response has been overwhelming, with thousands of readers nominating their #WomanInHistory, joined by fellow authors, business people, scientists, sports people and musicians including Courttia Newland, Kim Cattrall, Martina Navratilova, Lorraine Kelly, Katie Derham, Richard Osman, Errollyn Wallen, Anthony, Horowitz, Anita Sethi, Joanna Trollope, Charlotte Higgins, Kathy Lette, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Noma Dumezweni, Boudour Al Qasimi, Arifa Akbar, Adam Kay, Daisy Buchanan, Martha Lane Fox, Clodagh Finn and many more.

Also engaging in the campaign are organisations such as Women of the World (WOW), the Allbright Club, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, On This Day She, Books That Matter, the English Chamber Orchestra, The Pigeonhole, Women in Sport, Women in Technology and Nobel Women.

The full ‘gallery of stars’ will be announced on International Women’s Day, March 8, on the Pan Macmillan website (www.panmacmillan.com).

“In my research for my fiction, I’ve been constantly reminded how easily women’s achievements disappear or are left out of the official history books, which is what inspired this campaign. I’ve been blown away by everyone’s enthusiasm and the huge numbers who’ve already engaged. Within the first few days of launching, we’ve had thousands of nominations from all over the world including Russia, Poland, Syria, Iran, Canada, France, Spain, Ireland, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, the UK, Germany. Women from the distant past, the middle and recent past, as well as those making history today. It’s a testament to how eager we are to honour exceptional, brilliant women from all periods of history, and from all corners of the world — particularly those whose names are less celebrated than they should be or whose achievements have been overshadowed or misattributed — as well as acknowledging that we walk in their footsteps.”

The #womaninhistory campaign is part of a broader movement to put women's names and stories centre stage and I think it's think it's a positive sign of how, in these rather grim times, we want to celebrate courage, sisterhood, diversity and inclusivity and show gratitude to those who have come before us.'

Readers can nominate the woman in history who most inspires them or who they think should be better known, by posting on twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WomanInHistory or emailing [email protected]

Kate Mosse’s The City of Tears is published by Mantle (£20). Her non fiction book on being a carer — An Extra Pair of Hands — will be published by Wellcome Collection in June 2021.