Elizabeth Dawes

Summary

Elizabeth Anna Sophia Dawes (1864–1954) was a 19th-century British classical scholar and the first woman to receive a DLitt degree from the University of London.[1][2]

Elizabeth Dawes
Born1864
Kingston, Surrey, England
Died1954 (aged 89–90)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of London
ThesisThe Pronunciation of Greek with Suggestions for a Reform in Teaching that Language
Academic work
DisciplineClassics
InstitutionsBryn Mawr College

Early lifeEdit

Elizabeth was born in 1864 in Kingston, Surrey. In the 1881 census, aged 16, she is already listed as 'scholar'. At this time, the family, consisting of father the Revd John Samuel,[3] mother Anna Sophia Elizabeth (or called Elizabeth Anna Sophia as well, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)[4] and eight children, live at Newton House on Maple Road in Surbiton.[5]

Her older sister Mary Clara Dawes [Wikidata] was also a scholar, and the first woman to receive a Masters in Arts.[6] Mary Clara Dawes passed the matriculation examination in January 1879 and placed fourth in the list of masters of arts for the University of London in July 1884.[7][8][9]

EducationEdit

Elizabeth Dawes was a Scholar at Girton College, Cambridge. She got a good mark in the Classical Tripos but, as was the rule at that time, could not graduate from the University of Cambridge with a degree. Her good results are notable because girls generally received an inferior education to their male counterparts, which generally translated into lower marks in the Tripos.[10]

She subsequently acquired a BA from the University of London, as well as being the first women to receive a DLitt from the University of London, in 1895.[11][12][13] The title of her thesis was 'The Pronunciation of Greek with Suggestions for a Reform in Teaching that Language', indicating an early interest in educational reform which would persist into her career as a headmistress of a girls' school.

CareerEdit

Contrary to many women of the Victorian era, Dawes had a career. In addition to a professorship held at Bryn Mawr College in the US during the academic year 1886-7, when she was only 22, she was headmistress of a school in Surrey together with her sister Mary.[14] In 1928, she translated Anna Comnena's Alexiad from Greek into English.[15] The work is still in print almost 90 years later.[16]

Select bibliographyEdit

  • The pronunciation of Greek with suggestions for a reform in teaching that language (1889)
  • Classical Latin vocabularies for schools and colleges (1890)
  • Attic Greek vocabularies for schools and colleges (1890)
  • The pronunciation of the Greek aspirates (1894)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Elizabeth Anna Sophia Dawes". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58469. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "title unknown". The Sketch: 237. 29 May 1895.
  3. ^ "title unknown". The Sketch: 237. 29 May 1895.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Anna Sophia Dawes". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58469. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ Dawes, Elizabeth A. S. "UK Census Records". Ancestry.co.uk.
  6. ^ Assinder, Semele (2012). Greece in British Women's Writing, 1866-1915 (PhD dissertation).
  7. ^ Faithfull, Emily (1884). Three Visits to America. New York: Fowler & Wells Co., Publishers. p. 71.
  8. ^ "Ladies in the London University". The Illustrated London News. Vol. 85, no. 2359. 5 July 1884. p. 81. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  9. ^ "THE FIRST LADY MASTER OF ARTS". Bow bells : a magazine of general literature and art for family reading. Vol. 41, no. 1056. London. 23 October 1884. p. 420.
  10. ^ Breay, Claire (1999). "Women and the Classical Tripos 1869 – 1914". In Stray, Christopher (ed.). Classics in 19th and 20th Century Cambridge: Curriculum, Culture and Community. Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society. p. 49.
  11. ^ "Elizabeth Anna Sophia Dawes". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58469. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ "Advert for Weybridge Ladies School 1912". Archived from the original on 22 February 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Murray, Janet Horowitz; Stark, Myra (1895). "University Intelligence". The Englishwoman's Review of Social and Industrial Questions. ISBN 9781315396569. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Advert for Weybridge Ladies School 1912". Archived from the original on 22 February 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ Dawes, Elizabeth (1928). The Alexiad of the Princess Anna Comnena : being the history of the reign of her father, Alexius I, Emperor of the Romans, 1081-1118 A.D. London: Kegan Paul.
  16. ^ 2015 edition of Dawes' translation of the Alexiad. Amazon.co.uk. ASIN 1627301127.