Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.


Autograph draft for Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries.

13 Kensington Square, W.,: [1899] Stock Code: 132800
Reserve Ask us a question

The early and influential reformer of women's higher education

Two page autograph draft with annotations and corrections in ink and pencil by Lilian Faithfull, an early reformer of women's higher education and one of Virginia Woolf's lecturers, for her autobiographical entry in Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries (1899). Written in the third person, it culminates with her appointment as Head of the Ladies' Department at King's College, London, where she worked from 1894 to 1907. There Faithfull was able to effect a real sea-change for her charges in the transition "from passive lecture attendance to the pursuit of courses of study leading to university examinations, degrees, and diplomas" (ODNB), at a time when women could not graduate from Oxford or Cambridge. Faithfull notes here that "her interest in sports makes her specially popular with the students", a statement that originally continued with a mention, struck through in ink, that they followed her "chatty popular discursive lectures on English Literature with avidity". One of the students who attended her lectures was Virginia Woolf, whose "extended studies at King's College Ladies' Department brought her into direct contact with some of the early reformers of women's higher education such as Clara Pater, George Warr and Lilian Faithfull" (Kenyon Jones & Snaith, p. 2). "Many of Faithfull's discussions of the benefits of women's education prefigure the portrait of Fernham in Woolf's A Room of One's Own" (1929). Indeed, Faithfull noted in an article written for the Ladies' Department's magazine that possessing "a castle of one's own" was key to a girl's education (Kenyon Jones & Snaith, p. 37).

The first woman to become a Justice of the Peace in England, Lilian Faithfull (1865-1952) attended Somerville College in 1887, where she gained an exhibition and obtained a first class in English Language and Literature at a time when women were still barred from graduating. She worked as a form mistress at Oxford High School before being appointed lecturer in Modern History and English Literature at Royal Holloway College in 1889. After leaving King's College Faithfull continued to work as an education reformer and became Headmistress at Cheltenham Ladies College. While there she was a leading member of the Association of Head Mistresses, and her Saturday talks, which often took the form of acute and amusing criticism of different aspects of schoolgirl behaviour, were collected and published under the title You and I (1927), with a number of pupils' responses printed as appendages to her own text. Faithfull was awarded an honorary MA degree from Oxford in 1925 and the CBE in 1926. In her retirement she was "active in working to provide better conditions for the poor of Shoreditch... and inaugurated a cookhouse in Marylebone to provide good cheap meals" (ODNB).

A copy of the printed entry in Men and Women of the Time accompanies the manuscript.

Confused? Read our glossary


2 sheets of letterhead paper bifolium (160 x 100 mm, folded; 160 x 200 mm, unfolded), written in black ink and purple pencil on 6 sides.


Creases from further folding, a couple of staple holes; in very good condition.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book