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Isabel Fry: An introduction

An introduction to the Isabel Fry archive

Collection snapshot

 

Page from Isabel Fry's diary

Who is Isabel Fry?
Isabel Fry (1869-1958) was an educationist and social activist. She founded, and was headmistress of, two experimental schools: The Farmhouse School, Mayortorne Manor, Wendover, and later, Church Farm, Buckland, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. She came from a famous reforming Quaker background and was the daughter of Sir Edward Fry (1827-1918), jurist, and sister of (Sara) Margery Fry (1874-1958), penal reformer, and Roger Eliot Fry (1866-1934), artist and critic.

The collection mainly consists of a set of Isabel Fry's personal journals and notebooks dating from 1878-1958. These are supplemented by letters to her friend Eugénie Dubois, c.1930-1958, and a few publications and photographs. The journals reflect all aspects of her life and career including her teaching activities and educational ideas; her preoccupations with political and social affairs, including political reform and emancipation in the East and in Turkey and Persia; her friendships with liberal intellectuals; and her involvement with anti-militarist movements, slum clearance, socialism and feminism. They provide a day-to-day account of living through some of the most eventful and tumultuous times of the early 20th century, providing a commentary on the two world wars from a pacifist residing on the home front. Also included are details of her relationship with her family, friends and their wider social circle.

Subject Guide

Contact the archive team

Telephone us on:

020 7612 6983

or e-mail our dedicated enquiry service at ioe.arch-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk.

You can also write to us at:

Newsam Library and Archives
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way
London
WC1H 0AL