Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, signed postcard dated 1899
The first woman to qualify as a doctor in Britain in 1865
This is a handwritten, signed postcard from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Britain.
The postcard measures approx 11 × 9cm, and has the address '4, Upper Berkeley Street, Portman Square' printed across the top. It is dated June 14, 1899, and reads "Dear Miss Gladstone, We are going to a dance on the 23rd, so I am sorry to say it is impossible for us to accept your kind invitation for that night. Yours truly, E G Anderson".
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was born in 1836, and was the elder sister of Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, the politician, writer, activist and campaigner for women's suffrage. She was a member of the Langham Place Group, the club that supported and promoted women's rights in education and employment. She met Elizabeth Blackwell, and English woman who had gained an MD in the United States, and determined to become a doctor. She sidestepped the ban on female medical students at universities and hospitals by studying privately, and exploited a loophole that allowed her to qualify as a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in 1865. Her name was duly entered on the medical register.
Her first practice was at 20 Upper Berkeley Street in 1865, and then in 1874 moved to 4 Upper Berkeley Street which remained her home until 1902. She retired to Aldeburgh , Suffolk, where she became Mayor (an office previously held by her husband) thus also becoming Britain's first female mayor.
The card is in very good condition.