Macquarie University
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Links, lives, luminaries: Victorian feminism and the founding headmistresses of independent secondary schools for girls in New South Wales 1880-1925

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:41 authored by Cheryl Szatow
My research project seeks to answer the question: What can a Study of the Lives of the founding headmistresses of the Independent Secondary Schools for Girls in New South Wales, 1880 - 1925 reveal about the ways in which advanced schooling for girls was connected to Victorian feminism? It is a collective biography that explores new frameworks to interpret the lives of seven of these women, the authority they embodied and the ways in which class and gender intersected to both empower and restrict them. It explores the ways in which they enacted the confluence of Victorian feminism and advanced schooling in New South Wales and distils commonalities that may assist in creating a history of women's collective experiences. Primary evidence is located chiefly in school archives which is limiting but balanced by access to public archives and assisted by digital technologies. Three defining themes relating to access to power and authority in negotiations around class and gender expectations have emerged as generative concepts in a discourse about women's advanced education on the cusp of the local and global in feminism: Linkages, Sisterhoods and Legacies. These three themes constitute the organising principles under which my findings are arranged -- abstract.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. Linkages 'The right to labour and to live' -- Chapter 2. Sisterhoods. The right to remain unmarried -- Chapter 3. Legacies. Passing on the baton -- Conclusion -- Appendices -- Bibliography.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 69 - 74

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Michelle Arrow


Copyright Cheryl Szatow 2020. Copyright disclaimer:




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