I would love to know who Pterry is spoofing here ... It's definitely something that has noble antecedents.
When I did my OU degree a few years ago, we had to do a Caryl Churchill play called Top Girls, which includes a scene where 7 great independent women from history (or fiction) appear at a dinner party and exchange their life stories. One of whom was Isabella Bird - who was a 19th century explorer and writer, who went to America and Japan - the first white woman to meet the Emperor of Japan, it is said.
I wonder if Mrs Bradshaw might have a bit of Miss Bird's "morphic resonance".
Isabella Bird here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Bird
Text of her "The Englishwoman In America" available free here: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=woys ... &q&f=false