Education: Fair Radcliffe at One Hundred

After a century of progress she is, and is not, Harvard

"The world knows next to nothing about the mental capacities of the female sex," said Harvard President Charles Eliot in 1869.

That was ten years before Radcliffe College set up shop for the first time, a stone's throw from Harvard Square. Harvard Medical School Professor Edward Clarke proved how right Eliot was by warning, in Sex in Education, a treatise typical of the time, that women, endowed by nature with smaller brains and more delicate physiques than men, could be seriously injured if exposed to the stress of higher education.

While Radcliffe...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!