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Free Thinking Essay: Educating Ida

Eleanor Lybeck on protests, popular culture and the pioneering Victorian women who saw education as a first step towards emancipation. Recorded with an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Gilbert and Sullivan gave university-educated women the English comic operetta treatment in their eighth collaboration, Princess Ida (1884) but why did the most famous musical duo of their day choose to make fun of them? To find out, New Generation Thinker Dr Eleanor Lybeck, from the University of Oxford, looks at protests, popular culture and a group of pioneering Victorian women who saw education as the first step towards emancipation. Recorded with an audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival.

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select ten academics each year who can turn their research into radio

Recorded at the 2018 Free Thinking Festival and includes questions and answers from the audience at Sage Gateshead

Producer: Zahid Warley

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23 minutes

Podcast