Doors of Possibility: The Life of Emmeline Tanner 1876-1955

Relying chiefly on unpublished material, Doors of Possibility examines the significant changes to girls' secondary education between the 1880s and the 1940s, through the life of a lady who, born into the lower middle-classes, made her own way working in schools to become head of Roedean and a leader of headmistresses, articulating and defining the hopes and needs of her time. She epitomised the values and attitudes which formed developments in girls' education in England. Dame Emmeline Tanner started teaching at the age of 13 years, and the book examines the problems faced by a late-Victorian girl without money or the right connections. She was very interested in the new educational modes of the time, and the book tells of how she first experimented with ways and means, and the shaped one of the new secondary schools under the 1902 Education Act, guided it throughout her career, including chairing the Joint Four which dealt with problems arising from evacuation during the Second World War. By the time she became Headmistress of Roedean School, she was recognised as an influential leader of headmistresses and a champion of broadening the path. This book will appeal to both the general and professional educationalist. The detailed biographical detail gives a glimpse into women's educational history during the late and post-Victorian eras.