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Jeanie, an 'Army of One': Mrs Nassau Senior, 1828-1877, the First Woman in Whitehall

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Jeanie, an 'Army of One': Mrs Nassau Senior, 1828-1877, the First Woman in Whitehall.pdf | Language: English

This first full biography of Mrs. Nassau Senior tells how an extraordinary woman escaped from the constraints of Victorian domesticity to become the first woman in Whitehall and one of Britain's great social reformers. An ardent Christian Socialist radical, Jeanie Senior pioneered social work with Octavia Hill, co-founded the British Red Cross in the Franco-Prussian war, and battled on behalf of exploited workhouse girls. She was ferociously attacked for advocating the fostering of all pauper orphans rather than their incarceration, and for indicting workhouse 'barrack' schools for producing prostitution fodder. Her fight to defend her findings against male hostility politicized her, and she became an icon for the late 19th-century women's movement. Florence Nightingale told her she had been 'a noble Army of one' and later grieved that her 'premature death was a national and irreparable loss.' Jeanie Senior was considered by many, especially in the feminist movement, as an outstanding example of the positive effect of the employment of women in a position of responsibility. She had realized Sara Josepha Hale's vision of women as 'the great civilizers in so far as they help humanity to become more humane.'

"The fascinating biography of a Victorian who should never have been forgotten. Both the poignant private life and the heroic public life of 'Mrs Nassau Senior' here find an ebullient, witty and passionate chronicler." -- Barbara Hardy, Professor Emeritus, University of London. "This tender and engaging portrait of Jeanie Senior, champion of the workhouse girl, reveals not just that she was admired by the great and good of Victorian Britain, but that now we must count her as one of them." -- Seth Koven, Rutgers University. Sybil Oldfield is Research Reader in English, University of Sussex. Her books include Spinsters of this Parish – F. M. Mayor and Mary Sheepshanks (1984); Women Against the Iron Fist – Anti-militarist thinking 1900–1989 (1989); Doers of the Word: British Women Humanitarians, 1900–1950: a Biographical Dictionary (2001 and 2007); and, with Gwenyth Shaw, ed., The Old Familiar Faces, Poems on the Experience of Ageing (2007).

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Book details

  • PDF | 348 pages
  • Sussex Academic Press (February 1, 2008)
  • English
  • 3
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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