Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education

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Penguin Adult, 2010 - History - 288 pages
2 Reviews

In 1869, when five women enrolled at university for the first time in British history, the average female brain was thought to be 150 grams lighter than a man s. Doctors warned that if women studied too hard their wombs would wither and die. When the Cambridge Senate held a vote on whether women students should be allowed official membership of the university, there was a full-scale riot.

Despite the prejudice and the terrible sacrifices they faced, women from all backgrounds persevered and paved the way for the generations who have followed them since. By the 1920s, being an undergraduette was considered quite the fashionable thing; by the 1930s, women were emerging from universities as anything from aviation engineers to professional academics.

Using the words of the women themselves, Bluestockings tells their inspiring story a story of defiance and determination, of colourful eccentricity and at times heartbreaking loneliness, as well as of passionate friendships, midnight cocoa-parties and glorious self-discovery.

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User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

Cambridge University only started awarding degrees to women in 1948. For once, Oxford was more progressive. Women were allowed to graduate there already in 1920. This is the charming story of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nocto - LibraryThing

I should read more history books - finding ones I like is the problem. This book is all about the experiences of the first women to attend English universities starting in the 1830s or so and running ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Yorkshire. After reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, she became an antiquarian book dealer, later leaving to pursue a writing career. Her books about women travellers and pioneers have established her as an engaging social historian with an appreciative eye for eccentricity. Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and two sons.

Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh, brought up in North Yorkshire and read English at Somerville College, Oxford. In the Family Way is her ninth book, and like her previous work, including the acclaimed Bluestockings (25,000 TCM) and A Force to Be Reckoned With: A History of the Women's Institute (8,000 TCM), it confirms her as one of our most engaging and original social historians. Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and two sons.

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