Eleanor Constance Lodge 

Biography

Eleanor Lodge was born in Hanley, Staffordshire, in 1869. In 1895 was offered the place of librarian at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) in Oxford. From 1899 to 1921 she was a history tutor, and was the first woman to lecture at the university. In 1921 she was appointed principle at Westfield College in London. She died at New Lodge Clinic, Windsor, Berkshire, after a long illness on 19 March 1936, and was buried at Wolvercote cemetery, near Oxford. 

Education and Life Events

Eleanor Lodge was firstly educated at home, and then in various private schools. However in 1890, she began an education at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford. She earned a second in modern history in 1894. Lodge herself said this ‘was simply a revelation to me of what life might be, and opened a new world of happiness.’[1] At the École des Chartes and the Écoles des Hautes Études in Paris, 1898–9, Lodge received an outstanding training as a medievalist, which was to greatly influence upon her later research on French medieval history. In 1928 Eleanor Lodge became the first woman to obtain the degree of DLitt from Oxford University, and in 1932 she was appointed CBE. She was elected an honoury fellow of LMH and of Westfield, and was awarded the honorary degree of DLitt by the University of Liverpool.

Noted Works

  • ‘The estates of the archbishop and chapter of Saint-André of Bordeaux under English rule’ in volume 3 (1912) of Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History
  • The End of the Middle Age 1273 - 1453
  • The English Rule in Gascony (1926).
  • She published a number of other books and articles, and contributed to volume 5 (1926) of the Cambridge Medieval History.
  • English Constitutional documents 1307 – 1485
  • John of Gaunts register 1379-1383
  • Editor of Herald of Sir John Chandos Life of the Black Prince.
  • Terms and Vacations (1938) – Autobiograph

Reputation and Impact

Her work on medieval France has remained of central importance to medieval historians. Her work on the Life of the Black Prince was detailed, trustworthy and accessible, and has been hugely influential to students of late medieval history. While a female historian, Lodge was very much not a historian of women, despite her passionate commitment to the education of women. Indeed, she was very active in the long campaign to persuade Oxford University to award degrees to women, finally achieved in 1920. More broadly, she was central to the first generation of academic women who contributed to both the intellectual and institutional development of women’s colleges [2] Her career both reflected and assisted the improving position of women in academia.[3] The extensive work Lodge carried out showed the capability of women within academic areas, and contributed greatly to the growing acceptance of women in academia, especially as respected historians.

Her autobiography, Terms and Vacations, is an important source when looking into the experience of university women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, at a time when women were not commonplace in the academic areas.

Bibliography/Reading List

Hartley, Cathy. A Historical Dictionary of British Women. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2013.

Lannon, Francis. ‘Eleanor Constance Lodge (1869 - 1936)’. 2004. Accessed February 15, 2016. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34582.

Lodge, Eleanor Constance. Terms and Vacations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938.

Endnotes

[1] ‘Eleanor Constance Lodge’, ODNB.

[2] ‘Eleanor Constance Lodge’, ODNB.

[3]Cathy Hartley, A Historical Dictionary of British Women, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 2013), 282.

 

Daisy Cutmore