Constance Maynard's Passions: Religion, Sexuality, and an English Educational Pioneer, 1849-1935

By Pauline A. Phipps

© 2015

Successful but self-tormented, English educational pioneer Constance Maynard (1849–1935) was a deeply religious evangelical Christian whose personal atonement theology demanded that one resist carnal feelings to achieve personal salvation. As the founder of Westfield College at the University of London, Maynard championed women’s access to a university education. As the college’s first principal, she also engaged in a string of passionate relationships with college women in which she imagined love as God’s gift as well as a test of her faith.

Using Maynard’s extensive personal papers, especially her diaries and autobiography, Pauline A. Phipps examines how the language of her faith offered Maynard the means with which to carve out an independent career and to forge a distinct same-sex sexual self-consciousness in an era when middle-class women were expected to be subservient to men and confined to the home. Constance Maynard’s Passions is the fascinating account of a life which confounds the usual categories of faith, gender, and sexuality.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP004026

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2015

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

    ISBN 9781442650336
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2015

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

Quick Overview

Using Maynard’s extensive personal papers, especially her diaries and autobiography, Constance Maynard’s Passions is the fascinating account of a life which confounds the usual categories of faith, gender, and sexuality.

Constance Maynard's Passions: Religion, Sexuality, and an English Educational Pioneer, 1849-1935

By Pauline A. Phipps

© 2015

Successful but self-tormented, English educational pioneer Constance Maynard (1849–1935) was a deeply religious evangelical Christian whose personal atonement theology demanded that one resist carnal feelings to achieve personal salvation. As the founder of Westfield College at the University of London, Maynard championed women’s access to a university education. As the college’s first principal, she also engaged in a string of passionate relationships with college women in which she imagined love as God’s gift as well as a test of her faith.

Using Maynard’s extensive personal papers, especially her diaries and autobiography, Pauline A. Phipps examines how the language of her faith offered Maynard the means with which to carve out an independent career and to forge a distinct same-sex sexual self-consciousness in an era when middle-class women were expected to be subservient to men and confined to the home. Constance Maynard’s Passions is the fascinating account of a life which confounds the usual categories of faith, gender, and sexuality.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Phipps’s study is an excellent and fascinating addition to the existing work on Constance Maynard and her times…. It provides intriguing insight into the complexity of Maynard’s life writing.’


    Angharad Eyre
    Life Writing, September 2017

    ‘Phipps has produced a study that is thoughtful, scholarly, and engaging, despite its subject being both difficult to really know, and difficult to like.’


    Deirdre Raftery
    Historical Studies in Education Spring 2016

    &lquo;Here – finally – is a richly detailed biography of Constance Maynard that does full justice to the complexity and significance of her life and work. In clustering faith, desire, and sexual identity Pauline Phipps sheds new light on one woman’s struggle to reconcile human love and divine love. Particularly striking for me in this thoughtful discussion of Maynard’s intense relationships with women is Phipps’s innovative historiographical methodology. In learning more about this compelling life story we also learn more about how to write the history of sexuality.&rquo;
    Laura Doan, Professor of Cultural History and Sexuality Studies, University of Manchester, and author of Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality and Women's Experience of Modern War

    “At its core, Constance Maynard’s Passions is the story of a fascinating woman who was both a professional pioneer and tormented soul. There is much to learn from her story about the emotional trials of this early generation of educational pioneers.”
    Jacqueline R. deVries, Professor of History, Augsburg College
  • Author Information

    Pauline A. Phipps teaches in the Department of History and the Women’s Studies program at the University of Windsor.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: “Seeking great Reward from Thee”

    1. “Sweetest of Earth’s Glories, Love!”: 1849–71

    2. “Crisis, Restraint and Liberty”: 1869–72

    3. “Caught in the Current”: 1872–75

    4. “An Unhappy Marriage”: 1876–80

    5. “A Man or a Woman?”: 1880–83

    6. “Years of Gloom”: 1883–94

    7. “Glorious New Spring”: 1896–1913

    Conclusion: “Shadow of ‘Outer Darkness’ Close to Me”

Related Titles