New universities sprang up across medieval Europe at a rapid rate, yet at the start of the 19th century, England had only two: Oxford and Cambridge. For centuries, England’s two oldest institutions enjoyed a strict duopoly on higher learning, enforced by law. Why were they allowed to?
The First World War transformed women-only Somerville College. It became a hospital for convalescing soldiers, housed poets and writers and changed forever the fortunes of female students, writes Frank Prochaska.
Joanna Richardson describes how, in 1865, Miss Buss told a School Enquiry Commission: 'I am sure that the girls can learn anything they are taught in an interesting manner.’