Out of the Shadow: Women of Nineteenth Century Scotland
- Admission Free
The portraits in this display represent women whose lives span the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. These women were mostly the exception to a general rule, unusual in their achievements at a time when most women enjoyed few rights and freedoms and had limited expectations beyond the domestic sphere. A consideration of these individuals allows us to explore some of the important advances in women’s rights made during the nineteenth century.
There were significant changes during the nineteenth century in legislation relating to the rights of women and by the end of Victoria’s reign in 1901 some women had achieved freedoms and were pursuing activities never possible before. Women novelists contributed to these new aspirations by presenting fictional role models to real women. The Universities (Scotland) Act of 1889 meant that women could study for degrees, but it was not until 1916 that they could study medicine. And it was not until 1928 that women were granted the right to vote on the same terms as men.