Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

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Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

By | November 2012
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Alejandra Bermudez
British Studies Term Paper
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
October 18, 2012

Alejandra Bermudez
Term Paper
October 18, 2012
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is often considered to be one of the most significant women in the history of medicine and society, her work is often considered to be a turning point in history. She refused to accept a domestic role and who fought to change the prevalent Victorian attitude that women and men could not be equal. She was the first female doctor in Britain, helped to establish the women's suffrage movement, and provided inspiration to her contemporaries and to those who followed in her footsteps. Over the years she has made a major impact not only in the world of medicine but in the lives of women trying to peruse a career in that field. Elizabeth Garrett was born in 1836 in Whitechapel, London, one of 12 children. When she was five, her father, Newson Garrett, “bought a corn and coal warehouse in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, to where the family moved” (Sharp). By 1850, he was a wealthy man and able to send all his children away to school. Unusually for his time, Garrett considered it important that his daughters were educated, as well as his sons. Elizabeth spent two years at boarding school in Blackheath and by the time she was 16 she was determined that she would work for a living, rather than staying at home and wait to be married. While little is recorded about her life in the 1850s, it is certain that “her views on social equality and what became known as feminism were developing” (Manton). “By 1854, Garrett was part of a circle of female friends in London, who all considered that the prevailing male domination of society was unjust. These friends included Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon, both of whom went on to be influential suffragettes” (Sharp). The turning point in Elizabeth Garrett's life was a meeting with Elizabeth Blackwell in 1859. “Blackwell was the first qualified female...
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