forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
I've been reading a lot of Cherryh's Union/Alliance books lately (just finished Rimrunners) but I'm still not sure if I like them. I defiantly like the complex world building that she is doing. However one thing that bothers me is the sexism -- not the author's sexism exactly but the societies she writes about are fairly sexist -- pretty much in line with sexism at the time of writing. Cherryh makes it feel really creepy and unjust(eg the treatment of the male and female researchers in Forty Thousand in Gehenna) while kind of just expecting that's what life will be like for women in the future.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Full title: Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education

I picked up this book on my trip, because it looked fun and interesting – and I didn’t think it was something I’d be able to find in the US. It turns out that the flap copy is a bit misleading – it sounded like they book would be about the 1st women to go to university in England, when in fact the book has a slightly broader scope and is about women who attended university before World War II.

What I most enjoyed about this book is that it was full of interesting and delightful details – for example one woman was offer a pony instead of a university education! There are also lots of details about the daily lives of university women, what they ate where they studied, what they did for fun (coco parties!). I love this kind of detail and find that it makes the subjects seem like real people.

However I did find the organization of the book less than ideal. The book is divided into thematic chapters about subjects such as work, first experiences of universally, sports and societies, etc. My problem with this was that it made it difficult for me to follow the story of any one woman (many of whom appeared in multiple chapters). I also found it hard to have a chronological view of women at university because the book jumped between periods.
Over all I found the book to be charming and full of lovely detail. (It is clear the author did a lot of research.) However I found the overall story and the individual stories hard to follow. I recommend Bluestockings if you enjoy reading about the details of daily life, or are interested in the history of women in higher education.

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forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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