Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900


Get You to Girton…
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Despite expanded access to university classes in the 1870s, higher education for women remained controversial. Even though women attended the same lectures and passed the same examinations as men, not until the twentieth century were they granted the degrees they had earned.

These photographs were taken on May 21, 1897, when Cambridge University voted on whether or not to admit women to full university membership. The women were defeated, 1,713 to 662. As these images show, the issue provoked a massive protest by male undergraduates. The banner across the front of the Caius College windows reads:

Get you to Girton Beatrice Get You to Newnham Here’s No Place for You Maids.

Not until 1923 did Cambridge grant degrees to women. It did not recognize them as official members of the University until 1948.

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Two Photographs. Cambridge University, May 21, 1897.
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continue tour

early role models
entering the literary market
learned poets
getting into print
charlotte bronte and george eliot
sin and sensation
new women
L.T. Meade
the three volume format
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