Thursday, January 30, 2014

Challenging the Status Quo

By Annmarie Dean

I’ve always been interested in inspirational women. When I was eight-years-old, I made a pilgrimage to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Standing next to a life size bronze statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, other planners of the first women’s rights convention and a few of the men who supported the cause, is something I will never forget. Women who challenge social norms and emerge as triumphant icons should always be celebrated. Throughout the month of February, WNED-TV will be airing “Extraordinary Women.” The series profiles women who seemed to have it all glamour, power, wealth, and adoration. Coco Chanel, Wallis Simpson, Martha Gellhorn, Agatha Christie...they were worshipped, loved, and sometimes even feared by millions the world over. With archive, interviews, and dramatic re-enactment, learn about the price these women paid for their achievements.

Coco Chanel

Monday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. (R: 2/8, 2:30 a.m.)

She was an illegitimate child, born into a poorhouse and abandoned in an orphanage, but Coco Chanel rose from unimaginable poverty to create the most iconic fashion brand of the 20th century, The House of Chanel. With steely ambition, she took advantage of wealthy lovers, rose to the top in a male-dominated world and created a style of clothing that changed the face of women’s fashion forever.

Extraodinary WomenWallis Simpson

Monday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. (R: 2/15, 2:30 a.m.)

Brandished a frivolous socialite, a gold digger and even a Nazi-sympathiser, Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American, became embroiled in a deep constitutional crisis when she embarked upon one of the most talked-about marriages of the 20th century. To the horror of the British government and the Royal Family, on 10th December, 1936, King Edward VIII gave up the British throne to marry her.

Martha Gellhorn

Monday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. (R: 2/22, 3 a.m.)

Martha Gellhorn became a war correspondent almost by accident when her lover, Ernest Hemingway, urged her to file a report from Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. It was the beginning of a remarkable career spanning some sixty years. Until Martha entered the field, war-reporting was dominated by male journalists but, through her fearlessness and dedication, she earned a place at the top.

AN230164987_H.jpgAgatha Christie

Monday, Feb. 24 at 9 p.m.

Agatha Christie was the Queen of Crime Fiction. In a career that spanned more than half a century and two world wars, Agatha wrote 80 novels and short stories, creating unforgettable characters. Despite her fame, the real Agatha Christie remains as mysterious as any of the characters in her novels.

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