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Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook  

Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner

Two wives of British colonial agents in India compiled their experiences in this practical guide for new “memsahibs” (Indian term of respect for married, upper-class white women) in ... More

“Dedication to tallyrand,” Vindication of the Rights of Women  

Mary Wollstonecraft

The British activist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), mother of author Mary Shelley and the bearer of a tainted reputation, wrote a letter called “Vindication of the Rights of Man” (1790) ... More

English Laws for Women in the Ninteenth Century  

Caroline Norton

Before Caroline Norton wrote the activist letters in Document 18.1 with the aim of improving the legal status of women in Britain, she wrote a detailed account of her own losses in her ... More

From Mrs.Beeton’s Book of Household Management  

Isabella Beeton

The wife of a publisher, Isabella Beeton (1836–1865) translated her cooking talent into printed how-to guides for the women of London. Her grand guide, Mrs. Beetons’ Book of Household ... More

The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education  

Maria Montessori

Remembered chiefly as an education reformer, Maria Montessori (1870–1952) was also a social activist who brought the plight of Italy’s urban poor to light. In this excerpt from the third ... More

“On the Infant Custody Bill”  

Caroline Norton

Caroline Norton (1808–1877) was a British feminist and reformer who was renowned for her beauty. Norton translated her personal experiences—of a bitter divorce and the denial of custody of ... More

“The Bachelor Maiden,” The New Womanhood  

Winnifred Cooley

The American writer Winnifred Harper Cooley (1874–1967) described in depth the feminist ideal known as the “New Woman,” a term popularized by the writer Henry James for characters like the ... More

“Wage Labour and Capital”  

Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) are best known for their collaborative work The Communist Manifesto (1848). However, the two had been observing the real consequences ... More

Young miners testify to the Ashley Commission  

British Parliament

The British Parliament took on a series of initiatives to investigate the lives of women and children in the mid-nineteenth century, and the resulting testimonies, presented by workers to ... More