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Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1847–1929)

Author of Political Economy for Beginners

Includes the names: Fawcett M, Millicent Fawcett, Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett

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Millicent Garrett was the daughter of a prosperous merchant and the younger sister of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, later the first woman in the UK to qualify as a physician. She attended a private boarding school, and was introduced to radical political ideas and women's rights supporters on visits to Elizabeth in London. In 1867, she married Henry Fawcett, a political economist and Member of Parliament. He had been blinded in a shooting accident and was 14 years her senior, but he supported the right of women to vote. The couple had a daughter, Philippa. Millicent served as her husband's secretary and became a writer, first publishing articles in journals but later producing books such as Political Economy for Beginners (1870) and Essays and Lectures on Political Subjects (1872). She made her first public speech advocating votes for women in 1868. After Henry's death in 1884, Millicent Garrett Fawcett worked full-time on her own political career. In 1890, she was elected president of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies, a position she held until 1919. She also was committed to women's education and co-founded Newnham College at Cambridge University. She was awarded the GBE by King George V in 1925. Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett was the author of several historical works and wrote biographies of Queen Victoria (1895) and Josephine Butler (1927). She also wrote a memoir, What I Remember, published in 1924. There is a memorial to her in Westminster Abbey and her portrait by Annie Swynnerton is held by the Tate Gallery.
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