Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900

Hitchin College for Women
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Hitchin College for women was the precursor to Girton, the first women’s college at Cambridge University, which was founded in 1869 by the pioneering education reformer Emily Davies. With the opening of Girton, women were allowed to attend Cambridge faculty lectures, live in college, and sit for exams. For the first time, women were granted the formal educational opportunities that for centuries had been the exclusive preserve of men. A second women’s college at Cambridge, Newnham, was founded shortly thereafter.

Emily Davies battled to keep the curriculum and exams for women just as challenging as those required of men. The Hitchin Prospectus shown here presents a program of study for women preparing to take university entrance exams.

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College for Women, at Hitchin, Hertfordshire. April, 1869.
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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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