COBBE, Frances Power. 15554



Autograph Letter Signed, to Mrs. Jones, about her engagements that week, encouraging her correspondent “to come over some afternoon while Miss Jewsbury is with you”. 2 pp. 7 x 4½ inches, in good condition. 26 Hereford Square, undated. Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904), Irish writer and campaigner for women’s rights. She established a wide network of feminist friends, including Emily Davies, the founder of Girton College, John Stuart Mill and his stepdaughter, Helen Taylor, and the suffrage leaders Lydia Becker and Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Cobbe’s greatest contribution to the women’s movement came from her writing. She published in almost every major periodical, writing on the problems of marriage and the virtues of celibacy; the need for women to have independent activities, and similar subjects. She saw a close connection between feminism and the anti-vivisection campaign. Ultimately Cobbe’s most important contribution to nineteenth-century feminism lay in her attempts to set out a feminist ethic, developed most extensively in The Duties of Women (1881). [ODNB] She challenged the teachings of Charles Darwin on the basis of God as the Universal Creator of Man (Darwinism in Morals, 1872).