Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

Standard Name: Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith
Birth Name: Barbara Leigh Smith
Married Name: Barbara Bodichon
BLSB 's literary work emerged from her convictions as a feminist. Her accounts of women's political, legal, and educational disabilities (in lectures, pamphlets, and an important periodical) played a crucial role in mid-Victorian legal reform and the campaigns for improved employment and educational opportunities for women. She also published a travel diary.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Bessie Rayner Parkes
Some historians have speculated about BRP 's sexuality. As a young adult she built a romantic friendship with Barbara Leigh Smith (later Bodichon) which was for years the most important relationship of her life. It...
death Anna Brownell Jameson
In November 1859, ABJ wrote to Barbara Bodichon complaining of fatigue: what an old woman I felt to have grown!
Johnston, Judith. Anna Jameson: Victorian, Feminist, Woman of Letters. Scolar Press.
death Adelaide Procter
Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon wrote of her grief to Bessie Rayner Parkes : Adelaide's death is as a light gone from among us.
Hirsch, Pam. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon 1827-1891: Feminist, Artist and Rebel. Chatto and Windus.
AP was buried in the Catholic St Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green...
Dedications Bessie Rayner Parkes
BRP published Poems, a volume dedicated to Barbara Leigh Smith .
Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. W.W. Norton.
Thesing, William B., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 240. Gale Research.
240: 184
Dedications Bessie Rayner Parkes
This collection is dedicated to an unnamed critic who in all likelihood is Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon . BRP begins the dedication, Those whom these poems may concern
Will each their own true portion know...
Education Edith Craig
Craig then was tutored privately at Dixton Manor Hall at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, the home of Mrs Cole's sister, Elizabeth Malleson . Malleson had been an active member of the women's suffrage movement since...
Education Jessie White Mario
In 1857 JWM recounted these failed admission attempts in a letter to women's rights advocate Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon . Bodichon relates JWM 's struggle in Women and Work (1857).
Daniels, Elizabeth Adams. Jessie White Mario: Risorgimento Revolutionary. Ohio University Press.
O’Connor, Maura. The Romance of Italy and the English Political Imagination. St Martin’s Press.
Family and Intimate relationships Hannah Cullwick
She was thirty-nine years old when they married, and he forty-four.
Hudson, Derek, and Arthur Joseph Munby. Munby, Man of Two Worlds. J. Murray.
Munby's family knew neither of Hannah nor of the marriage until after his death.
Cullwick, Hannah. “Introduction and Notes”. The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Victorian Maidservant, edited by Liz Stanley, Rutgers University Press, pp. 1 - 28, passim.
The marriage was childless. There is some dispute...
Family and Intimate relationships Bessie Rayner Parkes
Around this period in her life, BRP ended a relationship with a suitor, her cousin Samuel Blackwell , who had persisted in seeking her hand in marriage for more than ten years. Her daughter classifies...
Family and Intimate relationships Bessie Rayner Parkes
While staying at the chalet BRP met and fell in love with Louis Belloc , Louise Belloc's only son. Louis was two years her junior and had had his promising career as a lawyer interrupted...
Family and Intimate relationships Florence Nightingale
FN 's first cousins included Hilary Bonham-Carter and Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon . Bodichon and her siblings, being born out of wedlock, were largely ignored by the Nightingales. However, FN and Bodichon corresponded later in life.
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Siddal
ES 's initial engagement to Rossetti, who was involved with a series of other women, ended in the spring of 1858. However, the two were reunited by Ruskin two years later, and Rossetti finally married...
Family and Intimate relationships George Eliot
Lewes was married. He and his wife had agreed as rational free-thinkers that monogamy was unnatural. He had thus tolerated her relationship with his friend Thornton Hunt , and supported her children by Hunt, who...
Family and Intimate relationships Bessie Rayner Parkes
While visiting Hastings, the teenage BRP began a lifelong friendship with Barbara Leigh Smith .
Banks, Olive. The Biographical Dictionary of British Feminists. New York University Press.
Armstrong, Isobel et al., editors. Nineteenth-Century Women Poets. Clarendon Press.
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Gaskell
By 1852, EG 's strong nucleus of important female friends included Barbara Leigh Smith , Bessie Parkes , Adelaide Procter , Octavia and Miranda Hill , and Harriet Martineau .
Uglow, Jennifer S. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories. Faber and Faber.


1854: Artists Anna Mary Howitt and Barbara Leigh...

Building item


Artists Anna Mary Howitt and Barbara Leigh Smith were invited to join the Pre-Raphaelite Portfolio Club , a group which offered critical appraisals of members' work.

December 1855: Barbara Leigh Smith, later Bodichon, founded...

National or international item

December 1855

Barbara Leigh Smith , later Bodichon, founded the Married Women's Property Committee (sometimes called the Women's Committee) to draw up a petition for a married women's property bill.

February 1856: Matthew Davenport Hill distributed Barbara...

National or international item

February 1856

Matthew Davenport Hill distributed Barbara Leigh Smith 's A Brief Summary in Plain Language of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women to the Personal Laws Committee of the Law Amendment Society .

February 1856: The Waverley Journal: For the Cultivation...

Writing climate item

February 1856

The Waverley Journal: For the Cultivation of the Honourable, the Progressive and the Beautiful, began fortnightly publication, advertising itself as Edited and published by Ladies.
Harrison, Royden et al. The Warwick Guide to British Labour Periodicals, 1790-1970: A Check List. Harvester Press.

1857: The Society of Female Artists was founde...

Building item


The Society of Female Artists was founded.

February 1858: Bessie Rayner Parkes described to George...

Building item

February 1858

Bessie Rayner Parkes described to George Eliot , in a letter, the limited company established by the Langham Place group to support The English Woman's Journal.

March 1858: The English Woman's Journal, a monthly magazine...

Women writers item

March 1858

The English Woman's Journal, a monthly magazine on the theory and practice of organised feminism, began publication in London, with financial support from Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and others, under the editorship of...

Late 1859: The offices of The English Woman's Journal...

Women writers item

Late 1859

The offices of The English Woman's Journal moved from Cavendish Square to 19 Langham Place, where a ladies' club was also planned.

August 1864: The English Woman's Journal, a practical...

Building item

August 1864

The English Woman's Journal, a practical and theoretical source of organized feminism from London, merged into The Alexandra Magazine and English Woman's Journal.

23 May 1865: The Kensington Society, a quarterly women's...

Building item

23 May 1865

The Kensington Society , a quarterly women's discussion group devoted to social and political issues, held its inaugural meeting in London.

7 June 1866: John Stuart Mill presented to the House of...

National or international item

7 June 1866

John Stuart Mill presented to the House of Commons a suffrage petition signed by 1,499 women, drafted by Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon , Jessie Boucherett , and Emily Davies .

Autumn 1867: The London National Society for Women's Suffrage...

Building item

Autumn 1867

1868: The report of the Schools Inquiry or Taunton...

National or international item


The report of the Schools Inquiry or Taunton Commission supported the view of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon , Emily Davies , and others that girls' education required reform.

18 August 1882: The Married Women's Property Act gave women...

National or international item

18 August 1882

The Married Women's Property Act gave women the right to all the property they earned or acquired before or during marriage.

15, 17 June 2011: The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) released...

Building item

15, 17 June 2011

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) released a digitized version of documents, photos, banners, and personal mementoes from the struggle of British women for suffrage, housed at the Women's Library and the British parliamentary archives.
Doherty, Teresa. Emails to the Women’s History Network.


Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. A Brief Summary in Plain Language of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women. John Chapman, 1854.
Bodichon, Eugène. Algeria Considered as a Winter Residence for the English. Editor Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, English Woman’s Journal Office, 1858.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. An American Diary, 1857-8. Editor Reed, Joseph W., Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. “Middle Class Schools for Girls”. English Woman’s Journal.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. Objections to the Enfranchisement of Women Considered. Bale, 1866.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. Reasons For and Against the Enfranchisement of Women. National Society for Women’s Suffrage, 1872.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women. Chambers of the Social Science Association, 1866.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. “Women and Work”. Waverly Journal.
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, and Catharine Maria Sedgwick. Women and Work. C. M. Francis, 1859.