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Episode 2

Miriam Margolyes reads from Jane Robinson's account of the pioneering British women who overcame all odds to get a university education.

Women had to wait until 1869 before they could enrol at Cambridge University, and even then the odds were stacked against them. Female brains were considered too small to compete with those of men, and the country's leading doctors warned that if women studied too hard their wombs would wither and die.

Faced with the eternal chaperone problem, prejudice from lecturers and the attentions of the so-called 'odd fish', life isn't always easy for the first 'undergraduette'. Yet while, even as late as 1897, women students at Cambridge face burnt effigies and fireworks being hurled at them, the bluestockings begin, quietly, to make their mark.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Wed 12 Aug 2009 00:30

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