The Educated Woman is a comparative study of the ideas on female nature that informed debates on womena (TM)s higher education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in three western European countries. Exploring the multi-layered roles of science and medicine in constructions of sexual difference in these debates, the book also pays attention to the variety of ways in which contemporary feminists negotiated and reconstituted conceptions of the female mind and its relationship to the body. While recognising similarities, Rowold shows how in each country the higher education debates and the underlying conceptions of womena (TM)s nature were shaped by distinct historical contexts.
'...this book is an impressive piece of work. By examining scientific and medical theories about women's higher education, Katharina Rowold illuminates two key themes. In the first place, she shows how social Darwinist and eugenic thought was shaped and reshaped by different national contexts -- and how this process helped to frame debates about the admission of women to university. Second, she explores how both those in favour and those against the higher education of women drew on the rhetoric of science to articulate their arguments.' - William Whyte, University of Oxford, UK 'The Educated Woman is a valuable and thoroughly researched study that illuminates the interaction of numerous different strands -- the scientific, the medical, the religious, the political -- within specific national contexts and particular historical moments on this important topic.' - Lesley A. Hall, Wellcome Library, UK