Queen Victoria

It is safe to say that the most unlikely personality in Anandi’s story is Queen Victoria, Empress of India.

A few weeks after the commencement, the dean of the College sent a letter to the Queen, informing her of the high achievement of one of her subjects. This was an act of some audacity, as the Queen’s opposition to Women’s Rights was well-known.

Were women to “unsex” themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen, and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection.


The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights’. It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself.

Amazingly, the Queen responded to the letter. In the indirect and restrained style of royal communication, her Secretary allowed only that the Queen had read the letter “with much interest.”

A report in a Philadelphia newspaper said it best:

The Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India, for many years holding opinions unfavorable to the recognition of medical women in her dominions has yielded to the argument of accomplished facts.
While researching this aspect of the story, I was able to delve into the Dean’s motivation in sending the letter and the underlying reasons for the Queen’s views. As for “yielding to the arguments of accomplished facts”, it proves the old saying: Nothing succeeds like success.

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