Four Stories from
17th - 20th Century
by Charlotte Furness

As the fi ght for women’s rights continues,
and whilst men and women alike push for
gender equality around the globe, this book
aims to introduce readers to four women
who, in their own way, challenged and
defi ed the societal expectations of the time
in which they lived.

Some chose to be writers,
some were successful
business women, some
chose to nurture and protect,
some travelled the globe,
some were philanthropists.
Each one made the
conscious decision not to
marry a man.

Elizabeth Isham of Lamport
Hall, Ann Robinson of
Saltram, Anne Lister of
Shibden Hall and Rosalie Chichester
of Arlington Court. These four are elite
women, all connected to country houses or
from noble families throughout the UK, and
this book explores to what extent privilege
gave them the opportunity to choose the
life they wanted, thus guiding the reader
to challenge their own beliefs about elite
women throughout history.

This book is unique in that it brings the
stories of real historical women to light –
some of which have never been written
about before, whilst also offering an
introduction to the history of marriage and
societal expectations of women. Starting
in 1609 and travelling chronologically up to
1949, with a chapter for each woman, this
book tells their remarkable stories, revealing
how strong, resilient and powerful women
have always been.

Charlotte Furness was born and raised
in Huddersfi eld West Yorkshire. After
completing a BA in English, and an MA in
Country House Studies at the University of
Leicester, she started a career in heritage,
working for English Heritage, Lamport Hall,
Harewood House, Temple Newsam House,
Renishaw Hall and more. She now works
as a full-time writer and heritage historian,
exploring women’s history and the history of
the country house.

Unmarried Women of the
Country Estate is published
by Pen & Sword History in
hardback. The 192-pager
is priced at 19.99 and
can be ordered online via
or by calling 01226 734222 

Unmarried Women of the Country Estate