The Historical Birthday-Tea Party 13th February

Constance in the middle, with the staff of Westfield

Once more, no specific birthday, so skipping ahead to the 19th for which there are several, let’s make the acquaintance of Constance Maynard, 19/2/1849-1935 was a pioneer of women’s education and the first mistress of Westfield College. She worked at various times and ladies colleges with other education pioneers Frances Dove, Louisa Lumsden, Ann Dudin Brown and Caroline Cavendish. Brought up deeply religious she wrote an autobiography and kept a diary, in which she talks (somewhat obliquely) about her many women friends, but also acknowledges that was she feels is (sexual) love. She had passionate relationships with two of her students, Margaret Graham Brooke and Marion Wakefield.

And yet, yet, – I loathe to write it down, – the whole was spoilt and devastated by love, by what psychoanalysts call by highly disagreeable names, such as a “thwarted sex-instinct”. There was something within me which seemed to have a foremost & impervious claim, a hunger which must be satisfied, whatever food was on offer.

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