Monday 8th March 2021

Venue: Online

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a special online talk with Vivien Morgan, author of the fascinating book ‘Cross-dressed to Kill: women who went to war disguised as men’.

Vivien Morgan, author and former BBC and ITN TV News journalist, has just published her latest book, featuring stories of daring women who can also be found in our 2020 exhibition Man Up! Women who stepped into a man’s world.

This is an online event. Ticket holders will be emailed links to the talk on YouTube and the live Q&A on Zoom straight afterwards. The interview, pre-recorded to ensure quality, will premier on YouTube at 7pm but will be available to watch for those with the link afterwards.

About the book:

‘Cross-dressed to Kill’ is a collection of extraordinary stories by women cross-dressers of English, Irish, French, Prussian, Russian, Spanish, American and Israeli nationalities. Describing how and why hundreds of young women dressed as men to fight as soldiers in the 17th to 20th centuries. Fearless, ‘tomboys’ and decidedly full of ‘pluck and spunk’, they watched their fathers, husbands and brothers head off to war, before breaking free from domesticity and joining the army too. Answering questions about their sexuality, were they lesbians or transsexuals? There are the intimate details of how they kept their disguise for so long and their sex secret; plus their ‘affairs’ with women while masquerading as men. Are they early feminists? They certainly crossed the gender line, risking prosecution for cross-dressing was a crime and faced jail, whippings and execution. Once discovered and their stories told, royalty applauded and rewarded their actions, the public packed theatres to see them, but not all found fame and glory. Many were killed in combat. Read their first-hand stories of revolution and war, travelling to the fields of Flanders, the West Indies and India to fight for their country- as sailors, soldiers and pirates too. Would you have dared do what they did? Read in the Appendix the roll call of so many inspiring women from around the world, once forgotten but now remembered.

Buy the book from our online shop here.