Women’s history

Explore women’s history through the lives of women at LSE through the years. 

Lilian Knowles (1870-1926) – the pioneer

Jennie Stayner introduces pioneering female academic Lilian Knowles, first female professor of Economic History at LSE, and first female Dean of Faculty in the University of London.
Intentionally or unintentionally, it seemed to be her lot to be breaking down barriers.
C M Knowles
Lilian Charlotte Anne Knowles (Tomn) was born in 1870 in Cornwall and spent a happy childhood riding horses and winning […]

  • Lucy Mair student record
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    Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair was a well-known anthropologist at LSE; she is far less known for her significant contributions to the history of the discipline of International Relations. Professor Patricia Owens, director of a new Leverhulme project on the history of women’s international thought, highlights this neglected, early aspect of Lucy Mair’s academic life.

Lucy Philip Mair was born on 28 […]

  • Susan Strange c1990s
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    Susan Strange – world renowned international relations scholar

Susan Strange – world renowned international relations scholar

Susan Strange held the Montague Burton Chair in International Relations 1978-88 and was a world renowned leader of the field, writes Professor Patricia Owens of the University of Sussex. Susan Strange had studied at LSE and become a journalist before returning to academia. As a professor at LSE, she published her most influential books and founded the British International Studies Association. Later, she became […]

  • Department of International History 1972 credit LSE Library
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    “Exceptional and outstanding qualities” – Professor Ragnhild Hatton (1913-1995)

“Exceptional and outstanding qualities” – Professor Ragnhild Hatton (1913-1995)

For 32 years Ragnhild Hatton was a member of the International History Department. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, investigates her career as a historian and teacher of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Ragnhild Hatton was born in Bergen, Norway in 1913. Her family was well to do with links to Bergen’s shipping interests, but her father, Gustav Ingolf Hanssen was an […]

“A pillar of the department” – Sally Sainsbury at LSE

Sally Sainsbury completed the Diploma Social Policy and Administration at LSE in 1963, before joining the Department of Social Administration to become a research assistant and a teacher. She established herself a leader in the field of disability and social policy and retired as Emeritus Reader in Social Administration, Department of Social Policy. Here, Professor David Piachaud remembers a dedicated, unstinting […]

Edith Abbott – pioneering American academic

Edith Abbott, an economist, social worker and women’s equality campaigner, was the first American woman to be appointed the dean of a graduate school in the United States. She had studied at LSE in the early 1900s and was influenced by Beatrice and Sidney Webb’s work in social reform. 

Edith Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1876 to Elizabeth Maletta […]

  • The Pankhursts on the roof at Clement's Inn 1908 credit LSE Library
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    Clement’s Inn – the first home of the Women’s Social and Political Union in London

Clement’s Inn – the first home of the Women’s Social and Political Union in London

In 1906, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) moved from Manchester to London, and specifically to Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence’s apartment at Clement’s Inn, writes LSE curator Gillian Murphy. Eventually the WSPU occupied 27 rooms within the building, before a split in 1912 saw the WSPU move around the corner to Kingsway. Today, the site at Clement’s Inn is […]

Alice Clark – a suffragist from LSE

Somerset-born Alice Clark came from a family of pacifist shoe-makers who were involved in the suffrage movement. LSE curator Gillian Murphy finds that Alice Clark also held a Shaw Research Studentship in economic history at LSE.

Alice Clark, daughter of Helen and William Clark, was born in Street in Somerset in 1874. She was a Quaker by birth, and also a Liberal, and her family were […]

Alice Paul – a suffragette from LSE

American Alice Paul became a “convert” to the suffragette cause after hearing a talk by Christabel Pankhurst. LSE curator Gillian Murphy charts Alice Paul’s suffragette activities in England and as a student at LSE.

“She will die, but she will never give up” commented the psychiatrist called to evaluate Alice Paul’s mental condition when she was in an American prison in […]

A London Lecturer at Barnard – Eileen Power and the USA

On Friday 16 March 2018 during the Singularity and Solidarity: Networks of Women at the LSE, 1895–1945  seminar, Rozemarijn van de Wal talked about her ongoing research into economic historian Eileen Power. After having found some new materials in American archives, she shared some of her initial findings in researching Eileen Power’s relationship with the United States of America.

Eileen […]