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Female boxing fiction

Female Boxing Fiction
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The idea still makes people uneasy but two new plays — Fighter and The Sweet Science of Bruising — explore the courage, pain and history of women boxers. Liburd took up boxing herself just over a decade ago, when she was looking to do something more challenging than Body Pump sessions at the gym. So that was what I concentrated on, staying upright, and I stood there while she battered me, basically. Because pain is that connection to your body, being in the moment.

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Vintage image of two bare-breasted women who are boxing as a mixed-gender crowd watches. Women of all kinds have been slugging it out with each other in the boxing ring for a long, long, long time—all the way back to Female boxing fiction 17th century, in fact.

One of the most fascinating aspects of female boxing history concerns boxers who, during Georgian and Victorian times, stripped to the waist before duking it out with their equally bare-breasted opponent. Women pugilists could scratch, kick, and pull hair if they so desired, which had the potential to make their bouts more brutal than those of male boxers. Boxing was how some of them resolved disagreements or sought revenge for being wronged in some way. Two women in fancy dresses duke it out while their large breasts threaten to escape their confines.

Female boxers are fascinating and glorious, especially those who bared their breasts during dangerous fights. We can only imagine what kind of physical damage happened to the chests of some of them. And, I gotta say, pretty darn hot. Vintage image of two women in Victorian dresses boxing near a river.

The woman on the left has just punched her opponent, knocking her to the ground. The evolution of gender equality in boxing went way backward before its slow climb forward. The early s had raw British female fighters like Elizabeth Wilkinson boxing other women and even men in bare-chested, bare-knuckle style brawls. There were essentially no rules at all. Women engaged in bloody prize fights, mixed Female boxing fiction boxing, and even matches involving cudgels or small swords. Vintage illustration of a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle boxing match from The woman on the right is grabbing the hair of her opponent in her right hand while punching her with her left hand.

Arrangements were made overnight and early in the morning a ring was set up in a field overlooking Shrewsbury on the other side of the river, outside the loop. Often women prize fighters would strip down, losing unnecessary clothing, sometimes down to the waist.

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With the crowd gathering round, bets placed and rules made clear the fight got underway. Many female pugilists stripped to the waist while boxing, but others took the more modest route: Petticoats and Punches: Vintage images reveal the bizarre history of female boxing where women fought their opponents in full Victorian dress. Fists raised, the Boxing Baroness stands over her opponent, who is on the ground, blood streaming from her nose.

She was also very stylish in her fancy bonnets! Vintage illustration of the Boxing Baroness. She wears a large red bonnet with white trim and flowers, as well as a yellow dress. She stands in a fighting pose, fists raised. Delve into The Bloody World of Georgian female boxing by author Anna Freeman via HistoryExtrawhich includes riveting primary source references to real bouts:. Female boxing fell into this category — a bloody novelty act, as opposed to a serious sport.

Often, in the records I found, there was no mention of which woman won, although there would be a description of what they had been wearing — or not wearing, as they sometimes fought stripped to the waist.

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The winner was often irrelevant, except to those with money on the outcome. Elizabeth Stokes fought alongside her husband against other couples, in much the way you might play tennis doubles today. Elsewhere, there are records of women fighting against men, and even several women fighting one man. What particularly gripped me was the thought of the lives these women must have led to bring them to the boxing ring.

These were fights in which you could be very seriously injured or die. But then, of course, Elizabeth Stokes fought Ann Field for a purse of 10 pounds, at a time when a maid might earn six pounds a year. Hope you enjoyed reading about female bare-breasted, bare-knuckle boxers from long ago. Female boxing fiction did you become interested in 19th century Victorian women's boxing? I was researching the history of fairgrounds for another project when I came across the stories of female fighters in boxing booths. That was my way into a whole hidden world of women boxers stretching back to the 17th century.

I was struck by the contrast between the female fights from the first half of the 19th century — bloodied Amazons fighting bare-knuckled and even bare-breasted — and the feminine ideals of the Victorian era, which decreed that women could barely play croquet without risking their bodies and souls!

Who were some of the most well-known figures and how were they regarded by society? Very little is known about the female boxers — like many women, their part in history went largely unrecorded. Polly Burns was one who caught my eye, because she came from Lancashire like me.

She was a circus strongwoman who fought against men and women and became the Female Champion of the World. The female MC of my steampunk romance, A Villainous Affairbecomes a bare-breasted boxer during the course of the story. Ruby Darling has a secret weapon that enables her to compete against male pugilists to win a lucrative pot of prize money.

Stop fretting. The time was a quarter to two in the afternoon. An overcast sky loomed above, but rain seemed unlikely. The weather had turned warmer, prompting Nathan to leave his greatcoat behind.

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This Saturday, three weeks after Ruby had first used the aether gloves and boots, she was ready to try her hand at prizefighting. An eastward walk from her tenement building would take them through Bethnal Green to the fisticuffs arena. Boxing was a popular pastime here, as evidenced by the steady stream of champion fighters who originated from Paradise Row. Boxers could make more money prizefighting than working fulltime in the factories.

Formal matches took place anywhere large enough to accommodate a crowd, including public houses, empty lots, and markets. In Bethnal Green, one could attend boxing events several times a week. They were scheduled at dawn or after the work day had ended.

This bout had been arranged by the Gladiator Society, an underground club ruled by the Boxing Baroness. She was the former mistress of the late Richard Barry, the seventh Earl of Barrymore. Reluctant to surrender his gambling habit, Lord Barrymore launched his own club.

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After his accidental death while on a mission for the Royal Berkshire Militia, his mistress, a big-limbed beauty who fancied fisticuffs herself, seized control of his club. It was either that or return to prostitution to support herself. The Boxing Baroness had done well over the years, which meant the prizes she awarded were highly coveted. Today, the Gladiator Society was sponsoring a prize of twenty pounds to the winner.

Ruby had practically salivated upon learning the amount. She had attended a few boxing matches now and then to pass the time but grew tired of the blood-splattered parade. Because many prizefights involved gambling, they were always at risk of being targeted by the authorities.

In the event of League or police interference, all Female boxing fiction fled. The match was dissolved until it could be d at another place and time. Though the stakeholder always had a contingency plan in place, Ruby hoped there would be no invasions during her first fight. Boxers had to follow a strict etiquette, so she and Nathan had attended several fights to refresh her knowledge. He had never seen a boxing match before.

One hit to her head could cost her a match—or more. To minimize the risk, she had spent long hours training. Nathan had built her a crude wooden dummy so she could learn how to apply the right amount of force. The power supply in the aether gloves and boots lasted about nine hours. Before heading out to Paradise Row, she had lent Nathan her pocket watch so he could keep track of the time on her behalf.

For the sake of caution, they had decided on a limit of seven hours. Today also marked the first occasion they had left the aether generator in her cellar.

To eliminate the risk of accidental discovery, they had created a hidey-hole in one of the walls. The rough nature of the surface made it impossible to locate the seams. For more security, Nathan had reinforced the lock on the outside of the trapdoor.

Unless one flicked the five switches in the correct order, it would remain steadfastly shut. Still, it would behoove them to find a more defensible place to live as soon as possible. They walked the rest of the way to Paradise Row in silence. She was too keyed up to talk, anxious that something would ruin their careful planning. They arrived a few minutes later. The square ring had been erected in a vacant lot in the standard fashion, with eight wooden stakes spaced at regular intervals. The scratch had already been marked in the middle. A crowd of all sorts of folks had already formed, most of them working class.

Female boxing fiction and Nathan passed a group of women gossiping and smoking cutties. If everyone here had one thing in common, it was a need for entertainment to escape their daily grind.

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