Lucy’s page from article about Mary Scharlieb


Lucy’s commentary:

Wow, would you look at that, a woman being a doctor. I must tell Gertrude, she will be ecstatic to hear of this accomplishment. She is always talking about women needing to push boundaries, but she does not realize the difficulty of such things. This Mary Scharlieb is quite the extraordinary woman, but she had to travel the world to have the succes she has. London itself is quite different. Here, they are hesitant to offer us practice in careers, but school requires this practice. I wish things were different but I will not waste a great deal of time trying to change the world. I personally like my quaint corner with the photography studio and my family. Speaking of the studio, it’s doing quite well. This week I had four appointments, two were for landscaping businesses and the others were personal. I guess the studio in many ways is similar to Mrs. Scharlieb’s accomplishments. I mean we were one of the first female owned and operated photography businesses in the London area, but is it comparable to that of becoming the first female doctor? I guess all progressive strides should be counted, because at the end of the day all women like us are trying to accomplish the same things. We just want to be seen as equals to our husbands, our sons, and all other men. I hope that if this woman was able to be a doctor that maybe more doors will open for women to become even greater things, maybe if I have a daughter she could one day be a doctor too.


Editor’s commentary: 

    This news article about Mary Sharlieb discusses Mrs. Scharlieb road to getting her M.D. from London University. This article was published in 1889, which is close to the end of the Victorian Era in England. During this time it was very uncommon for women to have a higher education, or any job that required a higher education as a prerequisite. This means that Mrs. Scharlieb made a radical decision by entering the practice of medicine, but she was very successful. Her success would lead to the acceptance of women into this profession, and into other male dominated professions. In Lucy’s writing she talks about opening a photography business which would have been very uncommon for a woman, which makes her similar to Mrs. Scharlieb. Both Lucy and Mrs. Scharlieb were trailblazers in their own ways, but Mary Scharlieb’s contributions specifically helped to make way for women to receive a higher education. Lucy understands this but she attempts to devalue her on contributions, only to later realize that every step forward for women is a good step. From Lucy’s commentary we are able to see that even though she speaks of New Woman ideals she is completely content with her accomplishments and her family. These traits make her not overly ambitious for a woman of her time, Lucy overall seems to be a very level headed progress woman who loves photography.


Citation:“Newspaper Article about Female Medical Graduates at the University of London.” The British Library, The British Library, 6 Feb. 2014,

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