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Overview

Sarah Emily Davies (1830–1921) lived and crusaded during a time of profound
change for education and women’s rights in England. At the time of her birth, women’s
suffrage was scarcely open to discussion, and not one of England’s universities (there were
four) admitted women. By the time of her death, not ...

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Emily Davies: Collected Letters, 1861-1875

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Overview

Sarah Emily Davies (1830–1921) lived and crusaded during a time of profound
change for education and women’s rights in England. At the time of her birth, women’s
suffrage was scarcely open to discussion, and not one of England’s universities (there were
four) admitted women. By the time of her death, not only had the number of universities grown to
twelve, all of which were open to women; women had also begun to get the vote. Davies’s own
activism in the women’s movement and in the social and educational reform movements of the
time culminated in her founding of Girton College, Cambridge University, the first residential
college of higher education for women.

Much of the social change that Davies
witnessed—and helped to effect—was discussed, encouraged, and elicited through her
personal correspondence. These letters, written to friends, allies, and potential supporters during
the years of Davies’s greatest political and social activity, reveal the evolution of her
skill and sophistication as an activist. They also show the development of women’s suffrage,
education, and journalism movements from a group of loosely affiliated like-minded friends to an
astute and organized political network of reformers. In these letters–most of which have never
been published—we see Davies struggle to understand and theorize about the role of women,
cajole and encourage potential supporters, explore complexities of various reform movements, and
demonstrate her formidable attention to detail in inventing and constructing an imaginable new
institution. Her intensely engaged life placed Davies at the very heart of the events that
transformed her era.

Ann B. Murphy is Associate Professor of English at Assumption
College. Deirdre Raftery, Lecturer in Education at University College Dublin, is the author of Emily
Davies:Women and Learning in English Writing, 1600–1900.

Victorian
Literature and Culture Series

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813923918
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 3/3/2004
  • Series: Victorian Literature and Culture Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 672
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ann B. Murphy is Associate Professor of English at Assumption College. Deirdre Raftery, Lecturer in Education at University College Dublin, is the author of Emily Davies:Women and Learning in English Writing,
1600—1900.

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