Feminist, Artist and Rebel
The first biography of the passionate and unconventional Victorian feminist leader and artist, George Eliot's best friend.
Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon was the most unconventional and influential leader of the Victorian women's movement. Enormously talented, energetic and original, she was a feminist, law-reformer, painter, journalist, the close friend of George Eliot and a cousin of Florence Nightingale. As a painter, Barbara is now recognised as a vital figure among Pre-Raphaelite women artists. As a feminist she led four great campaigns: for married women's legal status, for the right to work, the right to vote and to education. Making brilliant use of unpublished journals and letters, Pam Hirsch has written a biography that is as lively and powerful as its subject, recreating the woman in all her moods, and placing her firmly in the context of women's struggle for equality.
“Little has been written about Barbara Bodichon. Pam Hirsch rectifies this with gusto and a fine attention to detail...a full, affectionate, attentive biography”
Frances Spalding, Daily Telegraph