Caroline Cornwallis

I’m struck by the number of women prominent in the field of education in the nineteenth century (maybe even earlier) who quickly become forgotten. Listing A Brief View of Greek Philosophy up to the Age of Pericles ‘no author’ from the mid-nineteenth century, I see that it and many other books were written anonymously by Caroline Cornwallis. She was a fighter for education for the poor in particular, and for women. Declining marriage early in her life and remaining independent, she nonetheless, we are reassured by the Dictionary of National Biography (early twentieth century edition), never neglected her home duties.

Note that even if one is a woman without the emcumbrance of spouse or child, home duties were not to be escaped. One’s execution of these was probably far more important in society’s eyes than any number of books educating any number of people. Has this changed? Not where I am currently residing, which is Switzerland.


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