Uglow, J. The Pinecone, in the University Library at G 1.761 LOS
|Image courtesy of|
Uglow, Jenny, The Pinecone,
2012. ISBN: 0374232873
Women’s rights and what makes a feminist has been a debate since my student days. Forty years ago I was part of a campaign to change my Cambridge college’s policy so that women could be admitted. Shocking as it may seem now,
my University at that time had eight times as many male students as female, and the Master of our College suggested that female education might be a passing fad (perhaps an odd position to take in a College founded by a woman!). When I started on my chosen career as a librarian, a profession dominated by a female workforce, it was not much better at the top. The first national University Librarians conference I attended in 1992 had around a hundred men present, and only a handful of women. Thankfully a more proportionate demographic now exists among library leaders, and also in my College.
In her time, Sarah Losh could not attend University, directly manage the family businesses or enter a profession or politics, unlike her male cousins and uncles. She could however, growing up in a radical and reformist family where women were expected to know their own mind, benefit from an excellent education. She developed a deep knowledge of mathematics, science and the arts, and built her own library by subscribing to the publication of a wide range of books. Sarah is variously described as a heroine and a pioneer by reviewers of The Pinecone, but Uglow avoids any stereotyping of her subject.
The Pinecone is a mix of biography, social history and architectural study. Sarah chose to rebuild her local parish church at Wreay, near Carlisle, into what Pevsner later described as the finest Victorian church in Cumbria.
|Photo: Wreay, St Mary's Church by Bramhall.|
Reproduced under a Creative Commons license
|Photo: Wreay, St Mary's Church|
by Bramhall. Reproduced under
a Creative Commons license