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Shirreff, Emily (1814–1897)

Shirreff, Emily (1814–1897)

English writer and educationalist. Born Emily Anne Eliza Shirreff, Nov 3, 1814, in England; died Mar 20, 1897, in London, England; sister of Maria Georgina Grey (writer).

Pioneer of women's education, wrote novels Passion and Principle (1841) and Love and Sacrifice (1868) with sister, as well as Thoughts on Self-Culture Addressed to Women (1850), laying out arguments for women's education and criticizing ways in which women were trained to be dependent; wrote Intellectual Education and Its Influence on the Character and Happiness of Women (1858); with Maria, co-founded National Union for Promoting the Higher Education of Women (1871) and co-edited Journal of the Women's Education Union; served as mistress of Girton College (1870–97); co-founded Girl's Public Day School Company with sister (1872), enabling creation of girls' public schools by trusts or companies; set up 1st girls' public school with Maria (1877); became proponent of ideas of Friedrich Froebel, serving as president of Froebel Society (1875–97); published works on kindergarten and Froebel system, including Principles of the Kindergarten System (1876), The Kindergarten at Home (1884) and Principles of Froebel's System (1887), as well as biography, A Short Sketch of the Life of Friedrich Fröebel; helped sister establish Maria Grey College (1878), a teachers' training college for middle-class women, which is still extant in the form of Twickenham campus of Brunel University.

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