Arla North – Set Design
Jamie Trotter Photography
‘MENTAL TAXATION IN A WOMAN CAN LEAD TO ATROPHY, MANIA, OR WORSE- LEAVE HER INCAPACITATED AS A MOTHER. THIS IS NOT AN OPINION. IT IS A FACT OF NATURE.’
DR HENRY MAUDSLEY, BRITISH PSYCHIATRIST
It is 1896 at Girton College, Cambridge, and Elizabeth Welsh is preparing for battle.
Girton is the first college in Britain to admit women. The girls risk their reputations for their education. They study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the girls leave empty handed, with nothing but the stigma of being a ‘blue stocking’- an unnatural, educated woman- to their names. They are unqualified and unmarriageable.
Principal Elizabeth Welsh is determined to win the girls the right to graduate, whatever the cost. Can they persuade the University? Not if the average fellow or undergraduate can prevent it.
Meanwhile, Cambridge offers far more than merely educational opportunities to the Girton Girls. The battle for the vote, it seems, is the least of Elizabeth’s worries. Blue Stockings follows Welsh and the Girton Girls over this tumultuous year, in their fight to change the history of education.
‘The only thing a woman can own is knowledge… We must build our Trojan horse and infiltrate from the inside.’