10 Prominent Victorian Women

Queen Victoria (1819–1901)


Queen of the United Kingdom (1837–1901).

Oversaw extension of British Empire and named herself Empress of India (1876–1901). Victorian Era is named after her.

Florence Nightingale (1820–1910)


Pioneering nurse.

Born in Italy, Nightingale served as a nurse in the Crimean war and helped to raise standards of hospitals and the nursing profession.

Elizabeth Fry (1780–1845)

Elizabeth Fry.jpg

Quaker prison reformer.

She also much helped the conditions of prisoners sent for transportation, eventually leading to the abolition of transportation as punishment.

Elizabeth Browning (1806–1861)


One of the most prominent poets of her day.

She also campaigned for the abolition of slavery and helped reform child labour laws.

Emily Brontë (1818–1850)


Writer and poet.

Her only novel, Wuthering Heights, became a classic of English Literature.

Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)


A political activist for women and human rights.

After being arrested for voting, her trial became a landmark in the movement for women’s suffrage.

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) 


American Poet.

Though she wrote more than 1800 poems, fewer than 12 were published in her lifetime.

Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888)


Famed writer.

Best known for books Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys. She was a feminist and social activist, reporting the conditions of the Civil War hospitals where she volunteered as a nurse.

Emily Murphy (1868–1933)


Canadian female lawyer.

The first female magistrate in the British Empire. Member of the “Famous Five”, five women who launched the “Persons Case” in Canada, leading to the judgement in 1927 that women are “persons” and eligible to sit in the Senate.

Marie Curie (1867–1934) 



Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Physics, best known for her discovery of the element, Radium.



Biography Online. Famous Victorians. [online] https://www.biographyonline.net/people/famous/victorians.html [Accessed 1 Aug. 2019].

2 thoughts on “10 Prominent Victorian Women

Add yours

  1. The only thing missing I would add is to see these women smile. Though I understand they would have to pose standing very still for some time. My favorites are the side photos.

    On the other hand, perhaps not smiling gives each an air of grace which still sets upon the brow of time captured in these photos. Even the classic sister readers of that by gone era is etched into a future of gentle frayed paged readers.

    Thank you, MelissaMolasses for your beautiful words I find encouraging as each commentary from your magazine is carefully cut out to learn. Oh how I wish I could capture your secret in butterfly netting as your style is an inspiration to me.

  2. Thank you for the thought provoking write up! It is appreciated.
    I found this fascinating.

    How about the simple rights of daily living?
    Caroline Norton: Infant Custody Act.
    Barbara Bodichon: property rights for women.
    Elizabeth Jesser Reid: Unitarian philanthropist, founded Bedford College, first institution for higher education of Great Britain women.
    Elizabeth Blackwell: Englishwoman, first female doctor in the United States.
    Elizabeth Garrett: first female doctor in Britain.
    Emily Davies: campaign for women’s education and suffrage, among other things.
    Millicent Fawcett: shredded the arguments against feminism of one of the most reactionary political thinkers, James Fitzjames Stephen.

    Or; English Woman’s Journal, Langham Place, Society for Promoting the Employment of Women, Taunton commission of inquiry, Girton founded in 1869.
    Dr Johnson’s insulting line about a woman preaching being like a dog on its hind legs….and whom shut that down.
    and more @

Leave a Reply

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: