A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889-1940
Eileen Power was the best-known medieval historian of the interwar years, and wrote one of the classic medieval histories, Medieval people. An active participant in the campaign for women's suffrage, she became one of the first writers and teachers of women's history. She made her career as lecturer and then as professor at the London School of Economics and, together with R. H. Tawney, turned a frontier subject, economic and social history, into a prominent part of the historical disciplines. She defined her subject as comparative and international in her passionate engagement with the forces of nationalism and militarism. Her major works on trade, merchants and comparative economic history were conveyed in writing that was individual and human, rich in narrative and ranging widely over time and place. In her evangelism for the subject on the lecture platform, on the radio, through the press and in the school book, she made her subject glamorous, and her history became compelling reading and listening for a whole generation. Yet when she died prematurely at the age of fifty-one, her legacy to history was lost, and now we have largely forgotten her and the passions that drove her to write history. By narrating the life story of this woman who combined scholarship with personality to make an academic career against the odds, Maxine Berg refocuses our attention on Eileen Power as one of the first and most remarkable 'women in history'.
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academic archives became Beveridge BLPES Britain British Cambridge Economic History career century China civilisation Clapham to Power debate diary early economic and social Economic History Review Eileen Power England Europe fellowship feminist Ford lectures friends friendship G. G. Coulton G. M. Trevelyan German Girton College Gwladys Jones Helen Cam Ibid ideas India intellectual Johnston Karin Langlois later lectures letter Lilian Knowles literary lived M. M. Postan manorial Marc Bloch Margery Garrett marriage Mecklenburgh Square medieval women medievalists Michael Clapham Middle Ages National organisation Oxford Paris political Postan Postan Papers Power to Coulton Power to MLG Power-Postan Papers professor published R. H. Tawney Reginald Johnston Rhoda Power Russell scholars seminar September Shaw sisters social history social sciences society suffrage Tawney's teaching took Toynbee Trevelyan University Vera Brittain Webster Papers woman women's history wool trade world history writing