Click here to skip to main content.
Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleMann, Miss J de L
Ref No8SUF/B/089
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 19
Date30 May 1976
Extent57:58 mins
DescriptionInterview took place at The Cottage, Bowerhill, Melksham, Wilts SN12 6QZ.

Interview summary:

0:00 mins:
How she got to know the Courtney family in Normandy on holiday with her family, how the two families are related. Her family's army background. Kathleen Courtney's family background, how she broke away from it and how difficult it was to understand where her personality and politics came from. Meeting Kathleen again at the end of her life, their conversations about the family. Kathleen an intelligent woman who was easy to talk to. Kathleen's interest in public affairs, especially the League of Nations. In later life Kathleen went to the United Nations Union Meetings and spoke, and traveled to the United States of America when she was in her eighties. Elizabeth Wordsworth and Lady Margaret Hall college at Oxford University. Maude Royden. Most of her friends at Oxford believed in women's suffrage but did not support the suffragettes.

15:00 mins:
Attitudes to women's suffrage at Somerville College Oxford before 1914. No sympathy for the suffragettes when she was there. Approval for Millicent Fawcett. How women's colleges felt vulnerable, the overall Oxford women's college mood of patience and persistence. Undergraduate debating. Arrangements for chaperoning. Annie Rogers, a great worker behind the scenes. Everybody at Oxford either liberal or conservative. Career options for women, the difficulty of gaining influence or a worthwhile salary. Students at Oxford largely from professional families, lots of people from similar liberal backgrounds. Her father's professional work as a journalist and interest in public affairs, including women's suffrage. How she was brought up with the idea of going to Oxford and earning her own living. Beginning a PhD with Lilian Knowles in economic history at the London School of Economics (LSE). Social life of undergraduates at Somerville before 1914.

30:00 mins:
Different college societies. Restrictions placed on female students by the colleges. Different tutors at Oxford. College life. Emily Penrose. Did not see herself as part of the women's movement, or a rebel. During the First World War she completed her first year at LSE, then decided to do war work. Went into the admiralty as a clerk, but not much to do. During the last year of the war left the admiralty to join the foreign office. Attended the Paris peace conference as one of the staff. Gave her a good insight into the civil service. Went to teach political theory to the historians at St Hilda's college, Oxford. Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby once came because other people had found it useful. Her interest in economic history, and the cotton industry. How she became an economics tutor when the subject was only beginning at Oxford.

45:00 mins:
Became the principal of St Hilda's in 1928. Lots of women frustrated because they could not have a university education, some women frustrated because they could not get a job. All middle class professional families sent their daughters to Oxford. People who had to earn a living became teachers. Close relationship between women's schools and colleges, training people to go back there, circular. Not working hard enough at Somerville. Relationships between undergraduates and dons at Somerville. Emily Penrose responsible for discipline, not motherly, but respected. Religion at the university. Somerville versus Lady Margaret Hall.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 29
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024