Origins of Modern Feminism
The Diaries of Constance Maynard, Founder of Westfield College, London
- Published by Primary Source Microfilm
The provision of higher education for women was the most widely supported feminist campaign of the 19th century. Constance Maynard, whose diaries are offered here, was a leading pioneer of female education, and must be regarded as one of the most important feminist campaigners of the period.
Maynard studied at Girton and was instrumental in the foundation of Westfield College, which she was to lead for more than 30 years. Founded in 1882, the College was one of the first to prepare women for degrees of the University of London.
These extensive and wide-ranging diaries provide an intimate view of the realities of the feminist struggle. No comparable private record exists. They vividly describe religious, intellectual and emotional struggles experienced by one of the early pioneers of female education.
Full, neat, very legible, overlapping in time, though rarely in subject, the Diaries include:
- Twenty-three volumes for the period from 1871 to 1913, giving a day-by-day record of major events, beginning in the year before she went to Girton and continuing until her retirement from Westfield in 1913
- Six volumes of the Sundial Diaries, and 26 Green Books -- her intimate journal, which describes her "spiritual journey" and her changing views from the age of 16, when she started the diary, to the age of 74, when she concluded it
- Her 31-vol. travel diary, describing her journeys in Britain, Canada, South Africa and Europe. These illustrate Maynard's powers as an observer of people and places and her wide range of contacts
Also included is the complete unpublished autobiography of Constance Maynard.
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