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A Mother's Role, a Daughter's Duty: Lady Blanche Balfour, Eleanor Sidgwick, and Feminist Perspectives

  • Janet Oppenheim

Addressing the Women's Institute in London on November 23, 1897, Eleanor Sidgwick, principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, observed that

There will always be gaps in domestic life which can best be filled by the unmarried girls and women of the family; help wanted in the care of old people and children and invalids, or in making the work of other members of the family go smoothly, to which a woman may well devote herself at some sacrifice of her own future—a sacrifice she will not regret. This kind of work can best be done by women, not only because they are generally better adapted to it, but because the sacrifice is not so clear nor so great in their case as it would generally be in that of a man. Only let the cost be counted and compared with the gain, and do not let us ask women to give up their chance of filling a more useful place in the world for the sake of employing them in trivial social duties from which they might be spared with little loss to anyone.

With these remarks, Mrs. Sidgwick joined the extended debate over the rights and duties of spinster daughters that the Victorian women's movement pursued for decades. For many participants, it was the preeminent issue that women had to confront if they were significantly to improve the condition of their lives.

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EDITOR'S NOTE.—It is with regret that the Journal of British Studies notifies its readers of the death of a distinguished member of our community, Professor Janet Oppenheim, on December 3, 1994. With a mixture of sadness and gratitude, we publish one of Professor Oppenheim's last contributions.

JANET OPPENHEIM was professor of history at the American University. She wished to acknowledge the support of a research grant from the American Philosophical Society, as well as the generous assistance of Elisabeth van Houts and Ann Phillips, Newnham College, Cambridge; Diana Chardin, Trinity College Library, Cambridge; Tristram Clarke, Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh; Peter J. Jagger, St. Deiniol's Library, Hawarden; David Doughan, Fawcett Library, City of London Polytechnic; and Paul Harris. She expressed gratitude to the principal and fellows of Newnham College for permission to quote from Eleanor Sidgwick's papers and other manuscript material in the college archives and to the Right Honourable Earl of Balfour for permission to quote from the Earl of Balfour Muniments in the Scottish Record Office. She appreciated the comments of Nancy Ellenberger, Seth Koven, and William Lubenow on a briefer version of this article and the advice of the readers for this Journal.

1 Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, “The Place of University Education in the Life of Women: An Address Delivered at the Women's Institute, London, on November 23rd, 1897,” pp. 2122, in Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 1, Newnham College archives. (All subsequent citations from these papers refer to the collection at Newnham College.) In November 1912, she used almost identical language to make the same point in The Uses of University Education for Women: Presidential Address to the Education Society, Manchester University (Manchester, 1913), p. 15.

2 Caine, Barbara, Victorian Feminists (Oxford and New York, 1992), p. 133. The Kensington Society's discussions are on pp. 36, 132–33. For the society's membership, see Levine, Philippa, Feminist Lives in Victorian England: Private Roles and Public Commitment (Oxford, 1990), pp. 6162.

3 Pedersen, Joyce Senders, “Some Victorian Headmistresses: A Conservative Tradition of Social Reform,” Victorian Studies 24 (Summer 1981): 467.

4 Sidgwick, Eleanor, “Proposed Degrees for Women,” printed flysheet, February 12, 1896, p. 1, n. 1, Newnham College archives. Similar statements recur throughout her writings.

5 On this aspect of Sidgwick's “message,” see Soffer, Reba, “Authority in the University: Balliol, Newnham and the New Mythology,” in Myths of the English, ed. Porter, Roy (Oxford, 1992), pp. 192215.

6 Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, University Education of Women (Cambridge, 1897), pp. 11, 19 (the text of a lecture given at University College, Liverpool, in May 1896), and Uses of University Education for Women, pp. 8–9, 18.

7 See, e.g., Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, “Address to the Bradford Girls' Grammar School, on the Occasion of the Annual Distribution of Certificates,” November 15, 1910, pp. 34 (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 5).

8 Eleanor Sidgwick to Helen Gladstone, July 9, 1886, Glynne-Gladstone MS 1888, St. Deiniol's Library, Hawarden. Jalland, Pat, Women, Marriage and Politics, 1860–1914 (Oxford, 1986), p. 283, notes Eleanor Sidgwick's lone challenge to “Helen's assumption that a woman's primary moral obligation was to her parents.”

9 Olive Banks, Becoming a Feminist: The Social Origins of “First Wave” Feminism (Athens, Ga., 1987), pp. 2730. Banks also applies this simple “encouraging-discouraging” dichotomy to fathers.

10 This unlikely merger is persuasively illustrated throughout Caine, Victorian Feminists. Also see Dyhouse, Carol, Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (London, 1981), Feminism and the Family in England, 1880–1939 (Oxford, 1989), and Mothers and Daughters in the Middle-Class Home, c. 1870–1914,” in Labour and Love: Women's Experience of Home and Family, 1850–1940, ed. Lewis, Jane (Oxford, 1986), pp. 2747; Levine, Feminist Lives; and several of Jalland's case studies in Women, Marriage and Politics. The complexity of the messages transmitted from one generation of women in a family to the next forms a principal theme in Peterson, M. Jeanne, Family, Love, and Work in the Lives of Victorian Gentlewomen (Bloomington, Ind., 1989).

11 Jalland, , Women, Marriage and Politics, pp. 268–69; and Dyhouse, , Feminism and the Family, p. 25.

12 On Lady Blanche's authority over her children, see Robertson, James, Lady Blanche Balfour, a Reminiscence (Edinburgh, 1897), pp. 3536. Her mother's ill health is a recurrent motif in Eleanor Sidgwick's two manuscript recollections, “Some Things I Remember about My Mother” (1922) and “A Short History of My Mother as Derived from Such Papers and Letters as We Have” (1933), p. 18, for the cause of Lady Blanche's death (hereafter cited as Sidgwick, 1922, and Sidgwick, 1933, respectively). These documents are among the Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/145 and GD.433/2/220, respectively, in the Scottish Record Office (S.R.O.). (All subsequent citations to this collection refer to the holdings in the S.R.O.) Lady Blanche's first child was stillborn in 1844; Eleanor was born in 1845, and her last child, Eustace, was born in 1854.

13 For Lady Blanche's intellectual interests, see the sources cited in n. 12 above, as well as the manuscripts by her two other daughters: Rayleigh, Evelyn, “Some Recollections of My Mother” (1922), and Balfour, Alice, “About Blanche Balfour” (1935, unpaginated manuscript), both in the Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/145.

14 Johnson, Alice, “Mrs. Sidgwick's Treasurership,” Newnham College Roll Letter (January 1920), pp. 1330. The Times obituary of Mrs. Sidgwick stressed her role in Newnham's growth “from a modest hall of residence for some 25 women students to an imposing college providing for 230.” Mrs. Sidgwick: Famous Principal of Newnbam,” The Times (London) (February 12, 1936), p. 16.

15 See The Times obituary; Newnham College Register 1871–1971, vol. 1, 1871–1923 (Cambridge, 1979), pp. 12; Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, “Address to the Educational Science Section,” B.A.A.S., Manchester 1915, offprint corrected by hand (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, Box 1).

16 Eleanor Sidgwick was married in April 1876 and widowed in August 1900. Describing the relationship between her Aunt Nora Sidgwick and her Uncle Henry, Blanche Dugdale observed: “there was no doubt that Aunt Nora was happy; there was no doubt that everybody was the happier for her presence.” Dugdale, Blanche E. C., Family Homespun (London, 1940), p. 93. Also see the file of condolence letters to Mrs. Sidgwick following her husband's death: Trinity College Add. MS c. 101, fols. 1–93.

17 Scott, Joan W., “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91 (December 1986): 1055.

18 On this problem, see Birkett, Dea and Wheelwright, Julie, “‘How Could She?’ Unpalatable Facts and Feminists' Heroines,” Gender and History 2 (Spring 1990):4957. Soffer, “Authority in the University” (n. 5 above), is an important exception to Eleanor Sidgwick's general neglect at historians' hands, but it is worth noting that her article is not really about the Victorian women's movement; it analyzes the construction and evolution of college myths at Oxford and Cambridge through the figures of Benjamin Jowett and Eleanor Sidgwick. Christopher N. L. Brooke, also not specifically focused on the women's movement, has recently dubbed Mrs. Sidgwick one of Newnham's “most remarkable principals,” in A History of the University of Cambridge, vol. 4, 1870–1990 (Cambridge, 1993), p. 14.

19 Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One's Own (1929; reprint, with a foreword by Mary Gordon, San Diego, 1989), chap. 4.

20 Raitt, Suzanne, Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (Oxford, 1993), p. 65. Carolyn Steedman offers an extended essay on this theme in Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives (London, 1986). Also see Bloom, Lynn Z., “Heritages: Dimensions of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Women's Autobiographies,” in The Lost Tradition: Mothers and Daughters in Literature, ed. Davidson, Cathy N. and Broner, E. M. (New York, 1980), pp. 291303. More generally on women's autobiographies, among much else see Stanton, Domna C., ed., The Female Autograph: Theory and Practice of Autobiography from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century (Chicago, 1987); Jelinek, Estelle C., ed., Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism (Bloomington, Ind., 1980); Benstock, Shari, ed., The Private Self-Theory and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings (London, 1988); and Stanley, Liz, “Moments of Writing: Is There a Feminist Auto/biography?Gender and History 2 (Spring 1990): 5867.

21 See n. 12 above. Her niece and biographer, Ethel Sidgwick, makes tantalizing references to diaries that Mrs. Sidgwick kept at various times in her life, beginning at the age of ten. I suspect that their author, an intensely private person, left instructions for their destruction after the biography was completed, for they are not to be found either among Mrs. Sidgwick's papers at Newnham College or in the Balfour Muniments at the S.R.O.—or anywhere else that I can think to inquire. See Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, a Memoir (London, 1938), pp. 5–7, 16–18, 86.

22 See the manuscripts by Evelyn Rayleigh and Alice Balfour, cited in n. 13 above; Balfour, Arthur James, Chapters of Autobiography, ed. Mrs.Dugdale, Edgar (London, 1930), pp. 3, 10–13, 17–18, 68; Robertson, Lady Blanche Balfour (n. 12 above).

23 Eleanor Sidgwick, 1933 (n. 12 above), pp. 2–3; also see Mrs. Sidgwick's letters to Alice Balfour, May [4?], 1933, and June 6, 1933, Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/140.

24 Eleanor Sidgwick, 1922 (n. 12 above), pp. 3, 7–9, and 1933, pp. 10, 13–14. Also see Rayleigh, “Some Recollections of My Mother,” sec. 4.

25 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 30, and 1933, p. 12.

26 Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 10; Sidgwick, 1922, p. 31.

27 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 25–26.

28 Ibid., p. 24.

29 Ibid., p. 23.

30 Ibid., p. 28; Alice Balfour, “About Blanche Balfour”; Arthur Balfour's comments came in a conversation with his niece, Dugdale, Blanche, which she recorded in Arthur James Balfour, First Earl of Balfour, 2 vols. (New York, 1937), 1:5 (hereafter cited as A. J. Balfour); Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 5.

31 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 2, and 1933, p. 7.

32 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 26–27, and 1933, p. 13.

33 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 25.

34 A. J. Balfour to Eleanor Balfour, November 1–5, 1866, Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/195.

35 The three series of The Whittinghame Advertiser are in the Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/93. For a brief history of the paper, see Harris, Paul, Life in a Scottish Country House: The Story of A. J. Balfour and Whittingehame House (Haddington, 1989), pp. 4548. Harris explains, pp. 80–81, that the spelling of “Whittingehame” was not formalized with the middle “e” until 1897.

36 Sidgwick, 1933 (n. 12 above), pp. 17–18.

37 Dugdale, , A. J. Balfour, 1:21.

38 Harris, , Life in a Scottish Country House, pp. 12, 16, 4345.

39 Trust Disposition and Deed of Settlement by James Maitland Balfour,” Register of Deeds and Probative Writs, in the Books of Council and Session, vol. 1000 (April 9–26, 1856), pp. 9899 (S.R.O., RD 5/1000).

40 Sidgwick, 1922 (n. 12 above), p. 6, and 1933, pp. 16–17.

41 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 18–21.

42 Dugdale, , A. J. Balfour (n. 30 above), 1:21, 2:304.

43 Webb, Beatrice, The Diary of Beatrice Webb, vol. 3, 1905–1924, “The Power to Alter Things,” ed. MacKenzie, Norman and MacKenzie, Jeanne (Cambridge, Mass., 1984), pp. 5052 (September 16, 1906); on the jubilee speech, see Jane Ellen Harrison's account to Gilbert Murray, August 1921, quoted in Stewart, Jessie, Jane Ellen Harrison: A Portrait from Letters (London, 1959), p. 184. Alice, who took over the job of housekeeping for Arthur in 1876, never escaped into a life of her own. In her diary, Webb comments on Alice Balfour's wasted spinsterhood, as does Jalland, , in Women, Marriage and Politics (n. 8 above), pp. 268–72.

44 Harris chronicles the decline of the Whittingehame estate, especially noticeable by the 1920s, in Life in a Scottish Country House.

45 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 16–17, and 1933, pp. 16–18.

46 Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 9, and Alice Balfour, “About Blanche Balfour” (both n. 13 above). Also see Robertson, , Lady Blanche Balfour (n. 12 above), pp. 4446.

47 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 32.

48 Caine, , Victorian Feminists (n. 2 above), p. 108, sees this attitude as the “feminist edge” to Cobbe's philanthropic work.

49 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 17–18.

50 Steedman, , Landscape for a Good Woman (n. 20 above), pp. 1314.

51 Sidgwick, 1922 (n. 12 above), p. 13, and 1933 (n. 12 above), pp. 7–8; Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” secs. 5, 9.

52 This statement is Steedman's, , in Landscape for a Good Woman, p. 7, but the idea is expressed in innumerable other texts, with varying emphasis on class or gender, depending on the author's ideological inclinations.

53 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 10, and 1933, p. 8.

54 Dugdale, , A. J. Balfour (n. 30 above), 1:7, 9.

55 “Trust Disposition … by James Maitland Balfour” (n. 39 above), p. 108. As Millicent Garrett Fawcett reminded her readers in the early 1870s, a widow was “not the guardian of her children unless he [her husband], by will, expressly make her so.” See Fawcett, M. G., “Why Women Require the Franchise,” in Fawcett, Henry and Fawcett, Millicent Garrett, Essays and Lectures on Social and Political Subjects (London, 1872), p. 270.

56 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 34, and 1933, p. 13.

57 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 26, and Rayleigh, “Some Recollections” (n. 13 above), sec. 7. Francis Maitland Balfour, for whom a special professorship of animal morphology was created at Cambridge, died in 1882, at the age of thirty-one, in an Alpine accident.

58 For various references to governesses, see Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 10, 20, and 1933, pp. 8, 12–13.

59 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 26, and Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 7.

60 At Whittingehame, when Eleanor outgrew the nursery, she “studied with the village school master,” according to Clough, B. A., “Mrs. Sidgwick (Eleanor Mildred Balfour),” Newnham College Roll Letter, January 1937, p. 45. Subsequently, however, she worked with Lord Rayleigh, the eminent mathematician and physicist who was also her brother-in-law, on a trip up the Nile in 1872–73. In the autumn of 1875, when Arthur was traveling around the world, she moved to Cambridge where she lived as a guest in the newly completed Newnham Hall and studied mathematics with Norman Macleod Ferrers, who later served as master of Caius College. See Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, pp. 33–34, 47–49, 66.

61 Sidgwick, 1922 (n. 12 above), p. 22, and Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 7 (“Her influence over me was so strong that I would leave off reading a book which seemed to be turning in a direction she would disapprove”).

62 On the standard education available to Victorian daughters of the upper-middle and upper classes, see Jalland, , Women, Marriage and Politics (n. 8 above), pp. 717.

63 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 11, and 1933 (n. 12 above), p. 8.

64 Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 11–12, and 1933, pp. 1–5. The letters to Lady Blanche from her mother are in the Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/220. Traveling on the continent with Arthur and her three daughters in the winter and spring of 1865–66, when they were recovering from bouts of illness, Lady Blanche set them essays to write—on “Church Government,” for example (Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/195). On the second marchioness of Salisbury, see Oman, Carola, The Gascoyne Heiress: The Life and Diaries of Frances Mary Gascoyne-Cecil, 1802–39 (London, 1968).

65 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 33.

66 A. J. Balfour to Eleanor Balfour, December 1864, April 1865, June 1866, Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/195.

67 Sidgwick, 1922, p. 30.

68 Rayleigh, “Some Recollections,” sec. 13; Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 7, 33, and 1933, p. 13.

69 “Trust Disposition … by James Maitland Balfour” (n. 39 above), pp. 113–14, and Sidgwick, 1922, p. 33.

70 “Copy of Probate of the Will of Lady Blanche Mary Harriet Balfour,” probated July 5, 1872, recorded in Edinburgh, August 1, 1872, S.C. 70/6/9, S.R.O. The valuation of the estate is derived from the partial inventory of Lady Blanche's estate in Death Duty Ledger IR 26/2720 (entry for the Hon. Blanche Mary Harriet Balfour), Public Record Office, London. I have estimated the value of her father's outright bequests to Eleanor from her 1/7 share of the £40,000 James Balfour was required, by his marriage settlement, to divide among his children other than the eldest son, and by her 1/7 share of £96,375, the residue of James Balfour's estate divided among the same seven children after Lady Blanche's death. In addition to James Balfour's “Trust Disposition,” see “Copy of Contract of Marriage of James M. Balfour Esq. and Lady Blanche Balfour, August 1843,” pp. 17–18 (Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/193), and “Whittingehame Executry. State of Funds for Division as of 16th May 1872” (Balfour Muniments, GD.433/2/173). That this estimate is roughly accurate is confirmed by a letter from Arthur Balfour to Lord Salisbury, October 14, 1872. Reporting on the division of property among his siblings after Lady Blanche's death, he wrote: “I should guess not far from £30,000 for the two unmarried girls.” See Williams, Robin Harcourt, ed., Salisbury-Balfour Correspondence: Letters Exchanged between the Third Marquess of Salisbury and His Nephew Arthur James Balfour, 1869–1892, Hertfordshire Record Publications, vol. 4 (Linton, Cambs.: Hertfordshire Record Society, 1988), p. 11.

71 Levine, , Feminist Lives (n. 2 above), p. 87. Also unusual for her class and era was Lady Blanche's willingness to explain the facts of life to Eleanor (Sidgwick, 1922 [n. 12 above], p. 22). For a discussion of characteristic maternal reticence on sexual matters, see Dyhouse, , “Mothers and Daughters in the Middle-Class Home” (n. 10 above), pp. 3537.

72 Although Mrs. Sidgwick's childless marriage and active partnership with her husband were very different from the relationship between her parents, dominated as that was by Lady Blanche's almost constant pregnancies, it is arguable that Eleanor Balfour carried away from childhood the picture of a companionate marriage that subsequently influenced her as much as her mother's warnings against “marriage with the wrong person.” The few references to James Balfour in Mrs. Sidgwick's memoirs are not, however, sufficient for extensive speculation on the subject. See Sidgwick, 1922, pp. 4–5, 12, and 1933, pp. 7–9. Nonetheless, the fact that James Balfour selected Lady Blanche as one of his trustees and as the sole director of his children's education bears witness to his high regard for her.

73 “On the Question of Building,” printed memorandum from Eleanor Sidgwick to the Newnham College council, November 1908, Newnham College archives. Russell was a member of the council from 1901 to 1911 (Newnham College Register, 1:vi). There is no evidence that Mrs. Sidgwick was bothered by the injustice of her inability, as a woman, to inherit the Whittingehame and Strathconan estates.

74 Mrs. Sidgwick,” The Times, February 12, 1936, p. 16, and Johnson, , “Mrs. Sidgwick's Treasurership,” p. 29. Mrs. Sidgwick wrote to a friend on February 2, 1921: “I think it is true that I have sometimes been judiciously bold but that was because I always knew I could fall back on my own money if things went wrong.” Quoted in Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick (n. 21 above), p. 227.

75 See the correspondence between Sidgwick and Champneys, particularly for the years 1896–97 and 1909–10, in Newnham College archives.

76 Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, pp. 129, 179; Johnson, , “Mrs. Sidgwick's Treasurership” (n. 14 above), p. 30; Newnham College Register, 1:2; Gardner, Alice, A Short History of Newnham College Cambridge (Cambridge, 1921), p. 113.

77 In the 1890s, Eleanor Sidgwick served on the executive of the National Union of Women Workers, an organization launched by middle-class activists to promote and support unionization among working-class women. See Levine, , Feminist Lives, pp. 158–59, 169–70, and Jalland, , Women, Marriage and Politics (n. 8 above), p. 212.

78 This ongoing controversy receives thorough examination in McWilliams-Tullberg, Rita, Women at Cambridge: A Men's University—Though of a Mixed Type (London, 1975).

79 Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, University Education of Women (Liverpool), p. 14; also quoted in Soffer, , “Authority in the University” (n. 5 above), p. 206.

80 See McWilliams-Tullberg, Women at Cambridge, chap. 6; and the collection of documents, “Agitation for Degrees, 1881–1887,” Newnham College archives.

81 Eleanor Sidgwick, “Proposed Degrees for Women.” The quotation cited in n. 4 above is a good example of one such concession.

82 Eleanor Sidgwick to Helen Gladstone, July 9, 1886, Glynne-Gladstone MS 1888 (n. 8 above).

83 Report of a Conference Convened by the Governors of the Royal Holloway College … on Saturday, 4th December, 1897 (London, 1898), p. 34 (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 3).

84 Gardner, , Short History of Newnham, p. 64; Newnham College Register, 1:8–9, 32; Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick (n. 21 above), pp. 129, 157–58; Sidgwick, Eleanor, “Principal's Report,” November 3, 1900, pp. 12 (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 4); Johnson, , “Mrs. Sidgwick's Treasurership,” p. 30.

85 Eleanor Sidgwick's handwritten copy of her speech to the Birmingham Teachers' Association, October 5, 1886, p. 9 (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 5).

86 See, e.g., Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, “The Place of University Education in the Life of Women” (n. 1 above), p. 7. Shortly before assuming the principalship of Newnham, she demonstrated that women who had attended university maintained a better general standard of health than their sisters or female cousins who had not and, if married, produced healthier children. See Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, Health Statistics of Women Students of Cambridge and Oxford and of Their Sisters (Cambridge, 1890). Soloway, Richard A. provides a valuable discussion of this report in Birth Control and the Population Question in England, 1877–1930 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1982), pp. 140–42.

87 Strutt, Robert John, Life of John William Strutt, Third Baron Rayleigh, O.M., F.R.S. (1924; Madison, Wis., 1968), pp. 108–9, 116, 119–20, 123, 414; Sidgwick, Ethel, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, pp. 7273. Lord Rayleigh received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1904.

88 See Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, “The Progress of the Women's Suffrage Movement: Presidential Address to the Cambridge Branch of the Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Association, 23 May 1913” (Eleanor Sidgwick Papers, box 5).

89 Quiggin, M. A., “Students May Ride the Bicycle,” in A Newnham Anthology, ed. Phillips, Ann (Cambridge, 1979), p. 45; Harrison, Jane Ellen, Reminiscences of a Student's Life (London, 1925), p. 56.

90 Mrs.Sidgwick, Henry, “Address to the Educational Science Section” (n. 15 above), p. 1.

91 Miller, Alice, The Drama of the Gifted Child and the Search for the True Self (1983), as quoted in Steedman, , Landscape for a Good Woman (n. 20 above), p. 105.

92 Steedman, , Landscape for a Good Woman, p. 44.

93 Raitt, , Vita and Virginia (n. 20 above), p. 68.

94 As Soffer illustrates in “Authority in the University” (n. 5 above).

95 See, e.g., Dugdale, , Family Homespun (n. 16 above), pp. 9293; and A. J. Balfour (n. 30 above), 1:21.

96 Stanley, , “Moments of Writing” (n. 20 above), p. 63.

97 Dugdale, , A. J. Balfour, 1:4.

98 Israel, Kali A. K., “Writing Inside the Kaleidoscope: Re-Representing Victorian Women Public Figures,” Gender and History 2 (Spring 1990): 41.

99 Levine, , Feminist Lives (n. 2 above), p. 2.

100 On the dearth of new professional careers opening to women in any significant numbers by the turn of the century, see Dyhouse, , Feminism and the Family (n. 10 above), pp. 5455.

101 In addition to Gardner, , Short History of Newnham (n. 76 above), pp. 12–22, 36, see Marshall, Mary Paley, What I Remember (Cambridge, 1947), p. 11, and McWilliams-Tullberg, , Women at Cambridge (n. 78 above), pp. 5660.

102 Vicinus, Martha, Independent Women: Work and Community for Single Women, 1850–1920 (London, 1985), pp. 130, 132. Levine does not mention Eleanor Sidgwick in her chapter on education and employment, in Feminist Lives, pp. 126–56, nor does Caine, in Victorian Feminists (n. 2 above), which includes chapters on Emily Davies and Millicent Garrett Fawcett, a member of the Newnham College council from 1881 to 1909 (Newnham College Register [n. 76 above], 1:v). Bennett, Daphne simply merges “Professor Henry and Mrs. Sidgwick” in the index to Emily Davies and the Liberation of Women (London, 1990) but never mentions Eleanor by name in the text. Eleanor Sidgwick does figure in her own right in McWilliams-Tullberg, Women at Cambridge, although far less than her husband.

103 Strachey, Ray, The Cause: A Short History of the Women's Movement in Great Britain (1928; London, 1978), makes no mention of Mrs. Sidgwick. The most frequent expressions of Henry Sidgwick's respect for his wife's judgment are found in the journal he kept, in the form of letters to J. A. Symonds, from 1884 to 1888, with occasional additional entries thereafter (Trinity College Add. MS c. 97, fol. 25). Much of the journal is also incorporated into Sidgwick, Arthur and Sidgwick, Eleanor M., Henry Sidgwick, a Memoir (London, 1906).

104 Caine, , Victorian Feminists, p. 196.

105 Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed. (1989), s.vv. “feminism,” “feminist.” See Offen, Karen, “Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach,” Signs 14 (Autumn 1988): 129–31, on the anachronistic and “conceptually anarchic” use of the term “feminism,” a view that by no means all feminist scholars today accept.

106 This is Caine's, argument in Victorian Feminists, p. 6. In the preceding pages, she provides a useful summary of the views adopted by some of the leading participants—Olive Banks, Philippa Levine, Nancy Cott—in this debate. Seth Koven's paper, “Contextualizing Feminism: Women's Activism and the Problem of Naming in Late-Victorian Britain” (presented to the American Historical Association, December 1990), is also valuable.

107 Banks, , Becoming a Feminist (n. 9 above), p. 2. For a similar point of view, also see Dyhouse, , Feminism and the Family, pp. 34; and Lewis, Jane, Women and Social Action in Victorian and Edwardian England (Stanford, Calif., 1991), p. 1.

108 Banks, Olive, The Biographical Dictionary of British Feminists, vol. 1, 1800–1930 (New York, 1985), p. 185.

109 Some idea of the manifold issues involved in categorizing types of feminism may be gained from the essays in Rendall, Jane, ed., Equal or Different: Women's Politics, 1800–1914 (Oxford, 1987), and from Olive Banks, Faces of Feminism: A Study of Feminism as a Social Movement (Oxford, 1981). On the proliferation of categories, see Offen, , “Denning Feminism,” pp. 132–33, and on “relational” and “individualist” arguments, in particular, pp. 134–50. Offen's definition of feminism is on pp. 151–52.

110 Copelman, Dina M., “Liberal Ideology, Sexual Difference, and the Lives of Women: Recent Works in British History,” Journal of Modern History 62 (June 1990): 316, n. 4. See Sutherland, John, Mrs. Humphry Ward: Eminent Victorian, Pre-eminent Edwardian (Oxford, 1990), pp. 6365, for Mrs. Ward's part in founding Somerville, and pp. 197–200, 299–308, for her vehement opposition to votes for women.

111 In addition to Offen, “Defining Feminism,” and Caine, Victorian Feminists, see, among others, Lewis, Women and Social Action, and Maynard, Mary, “Privilege and Patriarchy: Feminist Thought in the Nineteenth Century,” in Sexuality and Subordination: Interdisciplinary Studies of Gender in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Mendus, Susan and Rendall, Jane (London, 1989), pp. 221–47.

112 Caine, , Victorian Feminists (n. 2 above), p. 6.

113 Zeldin, Theodore, France, 1848–1945, 2 vols. (Oxford, 19731977), 2:350.

114 On Davies, see Caine, , Victorian Feminists, pp. 9, 87. Soffer, , “Authority in the University” (n. 5 above), p. 202, points out this fundamental difference between the two women.

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Journal of British Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9371
  • EISSN: 1545-6986
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