This blog celebrates the achievements, friendships and lasting influence of the first Cambridge University wives and women students.
It was rumoured that, after Cambridge fellows were first allowed to marry in 1882, ‘an army of brides’ marched into the ancient, previously all-male university town. In fact, the university wives arrived quite peacefully at the same time as the first female students, several of whom later married and settled in Cambridge. It was only later that they encountered the opposition that made this the last British university to accept women on equal terms.
The pioneering Cambridge women who arrived in the 1870s and 1880s had to fight for their rightful place in this highly traditional male society, and they formed close social networks, including the Ladies Dining Society, that had connections far beyond the university. Their stories, which continue into the first quarter of the 20th century, are inextricably intertwined with the struggle for women’s suffrage and equal rights to higher education.
This blog also includes some guest posts as well as other essays, reviews and articles of mine, with full acknowledgements. Your thoughts and comments are much appreciated.