This book tells the remarkable stories of ten women whose inspirational lives and struggles exemplify the concerns and problems that other women have faced throughout the last two centuries. Each is the subject of a chapter devoted to her particular story and the times in which she lived. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed great changes in women's position in Scotland, and yet little is known about the achievements of the Scottish women who were the main agents of these changes. In presenting the life stories of ten women, William Knox provides evidence of the huge contribution made by women to the shaping of modern Scotland. At the same time he shows how the life histories of individuals can reveal previously dark corners of historical understanding and allow a more nuanced picture of Scottish society as a whole. Subjects include Jane Welsh Carlyle, brilliantly gifted, but married to the wayward and demandingThomas, Sophia Jex-Blake, Scotland's first female doctor, and Mary Slessor, the 'White Queen' missionary. Individually their biographies are full of drama and interest.
Collectively they say about much the range of women's economic, social and political experience in the past two hundred years.
William Knox is Senior Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of St Andrews. K is the author of Hanging By a Thread: the Scottish cotton industry, c.1850-1914 (Carnegie, Preston, 1995); James Maxton (MUP, 1987); Scottish Labour Leaders, 1918-1939: a Biographical Dictionary (Mainstream, 1984); and Industrial Nation: Work, Culture and Society in Scotland, 1800-Present (EUP, 1999).
Acknowledgements; List of Illustrations; Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Jane Welsh Carlyle: Living with Genius (1); 2. Eliza Wigham: Religion, Radicalism and the Origins of the Women's Movement in 19thC Scotland; 3. Madeleine Smith: Sex and the Single Girl in Victorian Scotland; 4. Sophia Jex-Blake: Women and Higher Education in 19thC Scotland; 5. Lady Frances Balfour: the Radical Aristocrat; 6. Mary Mitchell Slessor: Serving God and Country; 7. Elsie Maud Inglis: Scotland's Joan of Arc?; 8. Katherine, Duchess of Atholl: the Red Duchess?; 9. Willa Muir: Living with Genius (2); 10. Mary Brooksbank: Work, Poverty and Politics in 20thC Scotland.