Born in 1869, Caroline had a huge impact on academia throughout her career. Not only was she the first female university professor in London, where she lectured on English Literature, but she also launched the English literature curriculum at the University of London and was a specialist in the works of William Shakespeare and Geoffry Chaucer.  

She published essays in 1911 and 1929 dissecting Chaucer’s works, however, her most famous study was arguably her pioneering work on ‘Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us’ in 1935 which was published several times. 

Caroline was also at the forefront of restructuring English studies in Britain and was strongly in favour of women’s eligibility for academic degrees. She advocated for increasing the opportunities for foreign women to study in British universities and co-founded the International Federation of University Women.  

In 1936, Caroline settled in Tucson, Arizona and lived there until 1942, when she died aged 73. She was buried in Alciston alongside her long-time companion Lilian. The trailblazing nature of what Caroline did in literature and academia was an inspiration for women, at home and abroad, who were interested in pursuing further education.

To learn more about LGBT+ History Month, please see 

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Kay Field

Digital Marketing Officer

Kay is the Digital Marketing Officer at the WEA.