Inspired by Constance Maynard: exploring women's sexual, emotional and religious lives through their writings

Jane Mackelworth, Angharad Eyre, Elsa Richardson

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Constance Maynard (1849–1935) was the first mistress of Westfield College for women in London from 1882 to 1913. This special issue of Women's History Review is dedicated to the study of Maynard and the questions her life and writings raise about nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century women's experiences of love, sexuality and religion. Until recently, most scholarly discussion of Maynard focused on her pioneering activities in women's higher education, or explored her sexual identity and intimate relationships with women.1 More recently, though, scholars have begun to explore Maynard's own understanding of her sexuality, and how this related to her deeply held religious beliefs.2 The essays in this special issue advance Maynard studies further in this direction, developing an understanding of the formation of Maynard's erotic imagination and personal theology. Furthermore, they demonstrate how scholars of women's history may profitably explore women's subjective engagements with their experiences of love and desire through the emotional writings of Maynard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalWomen's History Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015

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