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

By (author) Jane Robinson

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Jane Robinson's "Bluestockings" is the incredible story of the fight for female education in Britain. 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. "Bluestockings" tells an inspiring 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. "Social history of the best kind". ("Sunday Times"). "Modern girls need reminding of the long battle, and Jane Robinson's fine book does just that, charting the lives and struggles of campaigners ...But there is more joy than sorrow". ("Mail on Sunday"). Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Yorkshire. 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.

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  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 24mm | 281.23g
  • 29 Apr 2010
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 16pp b/w photographic inset
  • 0141029714
  • 9780141029719
  • 92,951

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Author Information

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.

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Review quote

Social history of the best kind -- Sunday Times Sunday Times Modern girls need reminding of the long battle, and Jane Robinson's fine book does just that, charting the lives and struggles of campaigners ... But there is more joy than sorrow -- Mail on Sunday Mail on Sunday Jane Robinson is excellent on the determination of girls to go to university, sometimes in the face of parental opposition ... There is also riveting material in Bluestockings on the opposition that the women face at college -- Mary Beard, The Times -- Mary Beard The Times

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