Unsung Women in Somerset: From the Editing Floor

Helen Pugh
6 min readDec 11, 2023

In this article, I’m going to share with you some women from the editing floor of Unsung Women in Somerset (available from https://books2read.com/unsung). They didn’t quite make it into the book for various reasons ¬– if I’d included all the interesting 19th–20th-century women I found, for instance, the book would’ve never ended — but they deserve recognition all the same.

Let’s dive straight in, going more or less in chronological order.

Margaret Beaufort (31st May 1443–29th June 1509)
The formidable mother of Henry VII owned Martock Manor and Langport Manor. She paid for some of Langport’s parish church, All Saints, to be built. The portcullis emblems on the church tower pay homage to her and two of the church’s grotesques are said to represent Margaret and Henry.

Sources: langportheritage.org.uk, Magazine of the Gloucester Branch of The Richard III Society.

Mary Shelley (30th August 1797–1st February 1851)
Mary didn’t spend that much time in Somerset, but her stay in Bath was very significant. Arriving on 10th September 1816 and leaving in early 1817, she wrote much of Frankenstein whilst living there. Considered the first-ever science fiction novel, the city’s Francis Hotel features in the masterpiece. Oh, and Mary was only 19 years old.

I highly recommend a visit to Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein in Bath.



Helen Pugh

#History where #women take centre stage! Ebooks & paperbacks for kids + adults in English & español. She/her linktr.ee/helenpugh #SouthAmerica #somerset