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Clara Collet, 1860-1948: An Educated Working Woman (Woburn Education Series) Paperback – 5 Feb 2004
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This absorbing account of the life and work of Clara Collet, a leading economist, statistician and champion of women's employment, is also the first biography of this remarkable woman and reveals through Collet's diaries her fascinating personal life. Clara Collet's success was always firmly of her own making. An early female university graduate (1880), later a postgraduate and then teacher, she campaigned for the secondary education provision of girls at a time when it was negligible. Her other major contribution was in raising the status and position of working-class women, becoming a Commissioner for the Royal Commission on Labour (1892). Collet later carved out a career as a civil servant at the Board of Trade and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Of equal importance and interest to social and economic historians is the wide range of friendships and relationships she conducted in her life. She was close to the family of Karl Marx from an early age, particularly with Eleanor Marx, and with Beatrice Webb.Her enduring friendship with the cult Victorian author George Gissing deeply influenced his writing, and Collet defended his work in public long after his death. Her working relationships with Charles Booth, Lloyd George, Ramsay Macdonald and Winston Churchill are also celebrated, illuminating the changing times in which she lived.
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