Blog tour: Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines by Henrietta Heald

2019 marks the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society and today I am extremely proud to be able to join the blog tour for a book that – now more than ever – is very close to my heart: Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines by Henrietta Heald.

About the book...

In 1919, in the wake of the First World War, a group of extraordinary women came together to create the Women’s Engineering Society. They were trailblazers, pioneers and boundary breakers, but many of their stories have been lost to history. To mark the centenary of the society's creation, Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines brings them back to life.

Their leaders were Katharine and Rachel Parsons, wife and daughter of the engineering genius Charles Parsons, and Caroline Haslett, a self-taught electrical engineer who campaigned to free women from domestic drudgery and became the most powerful professional woman of her age. Also featured are Eleanor Shelley-Rolls, sister of car magnate Charles Rolls; Viscountess Rhondda, a director of thirty-three companies who founded and edited the revolutionary Time and Tide magazine; and Laura Willson, a suffragette and labour rights activist from Halifax, who was twice imprisoned for her political activities.

This is not just the story of the women themselves, but also the era in which they lived. Beginning at the moment when women in Britain were allowed to vote for the first time, and to stand for Parliament and when several professions were opened up to them Magnificent Women charts the changing attitudes towards women in society and in the workplace.

My thoughts...

I can’t find any fault with this book. It grabbed my attention as soon as I laid eyes on the cover, with its black and white archive photographs and the bold, golden lettering of the title, and my fascination only deepened as I started reading. You can tell that a lot of painstaking research has gone into the writing process and I am so grateful to the author for contributing to my education in women’s achievements.

Me being me, I also found the addition of more archive photographs a great touch and I loved what I affectionately call the ‘geeky sections’ at the end of the book, namely the list of milestones for women, the notes and the index.

Published by Unbound on September 19th, this is a truly extraordinary non-fiction book that I would make compulsory reading in schools. One thing is for sure: my daughter might be too young now to even be able to hold a book but she will be told the story of Rachel Parsons, Caroline Haslett and all the other incredible women who make history so much more complete.


  1. Huge thanks for the blog tour support x

  2. Fantastic post.

    Really enjoyed reading it and it held my attention all the way through! Keep it up.

    Read my Latest Post


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