Who were the Women Attending Berkeley in 1880-81?

In Scholarly Pursuits (now available), I set the mystery on the University of California campus at Berkeley during the spring term of 1881. The university, first opened in 1863, didn’t enroll any women until 1870, and between 1874 and 1881, only ten percent of the bachelor’s degrees granted by the university went to women. This is not surprising, given that one of the decade’s most popular books was Sex in Education (1873), a book by Edward Clarke, a Harvard medical school physician, who argued that women who were educated in the same fashion as men would face an inability to conceive Read more…

In loco parentis: A comparison of 19th century and 20th century coeducation

Introduction: I confess, that like many historical fiction writers, I often choose my characters and plots as a way to explore certain subjects. For instance, my primary goal in starting to write my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series was to further explore and tell stories about the women I had studied for my history doctorate. Consequently, during the past ten years I have researched jobs women held in a variety of occupations including domestic service, spiritualism, public school teaching, the printing industry, and department stores. However, while doing the research about public school teaching for Bloody Lessons, the third book in Read more…