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Elizabeth Fry: The true story of one of the 19th century's most incredible women (Biographies Book 3)

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'We long to burn her alive,' wrote the Reverend Sydney Smith in 1821. ‘Examples of living virtue disturb our repose and give birth to distressing comparisons.’ He was referring to Elizabeth Fry, the legendary 19th century social reformer who committed her life to helping others. One of the most remarkable women of her time, her philanthropic achievements included establi 'We long to burn her alive,' wrote the Reverend Sydney Smith in 1821. ‘Examples of living virtue disturb our repose and give birth to distressing comparisons.’ He was referring to Elizabeth Fry, the legendary 19th century social reformer who committed her life to helping others. One of the most remarkable women of her time, her philanthropic achievements included establishing a homeless shelter in London, campaigning for the abolition of slavery, founding a nursing school and improving conditions in prisons. But, like most women who take a stand against the establishment, Fry found herself the target of the hostility of those who benefited from the unfair systems she rebelled against. Facing disapproval as well from both the Church and her fellow campaigners, Fry was tortured by self-doubt. In this perceptive biography, based in part on Elizabeth Fry’s own journals, June Rose delves below the surface to show Fry as she really was – complex, contradictory, but courageously defying the conventions of the age. Perfect for fans of A Woman of No Importance and Long Walk to Freedom. Praise for Elizabeth Fry: ‘Well-written, enthralling and a real inspiration’ - Church Times ‘The value of this splendid new biography is that it enables us to get to know her better than ever before’ - Sunday Telegraph ‘It is a work of scholarly research, written with a simple clarity’ - Hampstead & Highgate Express June Rose was an English author and biographer. Rose focused on women’s issues and was renowned for exposing a different, and often controversial, side to many historical figureheads such as in Modigliani and Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution.


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'We long to burn her alive,' wrote the Reverend Sydney Smith in 1821. ‘Examples of living virtue disturb our repose and give birth to distressing comparisons.’ He was referring to Elizabeth Fry, the legendary 19th century social reformer who committed her life to helping others. One of the most remarkable women of her time, her philanthropic achievements included establi 'We long to burn her alive,' wrote the Reverend Sydney Smith in 1821. ‘Examples of living virtue disturb our repose and give birth to distressing comparisons.’ He was referring to Elizabeth Fry, the legendary 19th century social reformer who committed her life to helping others. One of the most remarkable women of her time, her philanthropic achievements included establishing a homeless shelter in London, campaigning for the abolition of slavery, founding a nursing school and improving conditions in prisons. But, like most women who take a stand against the establishment, Fry found herself the target of the hostility of those who benefited from the unfair systems she rebelled against. Facing disapproval as well from both the Church and her fellow campaigners, Fry was tortured by self-doubt. In this perceptive biography, based in part on Elizabeth Fry’s own journals, June Rose delves below the surface to show Fry as she really was – complex, contradictory, but courageously defying the conventions of the age. Perfect for fans of A Woman of No Importance and Long Walk to Freedom. Praise for Elizabeth Fry: ‘Well-written, enthralling and a real inspiration’ - Church Times ‘The value of this splendid new biography is that it enables us to get to know her better than ever before’ - Sunday Telegraph ‘It is a work of scholarly research, written with a simple clarity’ - Hampstead & Highgate Express June Rose was an English author and biographer. Rose focused on women’s issues and was renowned for exposing a different, and often controversial, side to many historical figureheads such as in Modigliani and Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution.

30 review for Elizabeth Fry: The true story of one of the 19th century's most incredible women (Biographies Book 3)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This was an interesting portrait of Elizabeth Fry. The author made the effort to write it from primary sources, most importantly Elizabeth's unedited journals. This gave a much more rounded picture of her than the sanitized version from the version of her journals edited by her daughters. It is inspiring how much energy she had. Many women today will relate to the tension between family and career, although of course the majority of us do neither to the same extent as her. The book also taught m This was an interesting portrait of Elizabeth Fry. The author made the effort to write it from primary sources, most importantly Elizabeth's unedited journals. This gave a much more rounded picture of her than the sanitized version from the version of her journals edited by her daughters. It is inspiring how much energy she had. Many women today will relate to the tension between family and career, although of course the majority of us do neither to the same extent as her. The book also taught me a lot about Quakerism. The only negatives are the book can sometimes get repetitive. The author could probably have trimmed some of the travel details, because the trips started to blur into each other for me. She also repeated some of her points about Elizabeth's character more often than necessary. Overall I enjoyed reading it though.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laurence Christie

    Inspiring read! Thank you for this inspiring amazing account of a truly enlightened woman. Her energy and her belief in raising the consciousness of us all to assist humanity where needed-- is just as necessary now as in her lifetime. Well written

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sidney Smart

    Riveting I am drawn to stories about strong and independent women who have accomplished great things. This book fit the bill

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Nimmo

    Brings her to life Refreshing to read a biography of her as very much a real person, appealing but flawed, rather than just a ‘Quaker Saint’.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James Tidd

    I thought that June Rose did an amazing job in doing this biography. Relying a lot on Fry's journals and various other journals of family and friends, Fry did wonders in an age where it was frowned upon for a woman to assert herself in the family home, let alone to people in authority. But assert herself she did and her works in making conditions in women's prisons more tolerable. As well as the above mentioned, she was a mother to eleven children and a Quaker minister. This remarkable woman of s I thought that June Rose did an amazing job in doing this biography. Relying a lot on Fry's journals and various other journals of family and friends, Fry did wonders in an age where it was frowned upon for a woman to assert herself in the family home, let alone to people in authority. But assert herself she did and her works in making conditions in women's prisons more tolerable. As well as the above mentioned, she was a mother to eleven children and a Quaker minister. This remarkable woman of saintliness and virtue aroused much hostility and admiration. Her own Friends (Quakers) found her worldliness disquieting and not all of the penal reformers approved of what was certainly unorthodox ways and there was no doubt that her family felt neglected, only one of her daughters remained in the Society of Friends. As for Betsy, as she was known, she was tortured by self doubt, anxiety and torn between her family demands, her beliefs and her own attraction to the high life, her love of drink was one of those things that she loved.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mrs V C Macpherson

  7. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Dickinson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Spitfire

  9. 5 out of 5

    valerie

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria Gillespie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mrs C. M. Wallace

  13. 4 out of 5

    lynda l. boccella

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Oliver

  15. 4 out of 5

    H V M RAMSAY

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  17. 5 out of 5

    J Brooks

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debra L

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charmaine

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christina Smith

  22. 4 out of 5

    MR C B HARVEY

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jane Bailey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Perez

  27. 5 out of 5

    James Spagnoli

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Mair

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marlena Nguyen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Louise Fisher

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