The female student on trial, 1910-1915: Dorothy M. Gladish versus University College Nottingham versus Oscar Wilde

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This article examines the student career of Dorothy M. Gladish at University College Nottingham from 1910–1915. By drawing on little-studied archives, a range of narratives about Gladish's multiple embodiments of the female student are analysed. In particular, these narratives are situated within the representational contexts of the Gong student magazine, which are marked by re-writings of Victorian literary texts that re-invent the contemporary female student. In the case of Gladish, the symbolic and literal ‘trial’ was also a feature of her student career. A ‘Mock Trial’ of Gladish is read alongside accounts of the college council’s examination of Professor R. G. F. Dolley, following a complaint by the Gladish family, and their responses to the trial of Oscar Wilde in 1895, contained in a hitherto restricted archive. Consideration is given to how this case study extends our knowledge about women’s roles in civic universities at this period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-899
Number of pages20
JournalWomen's History Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2016


  • Dorothy Gladish Meads
  • University College Nottingham
  • trial
  • Gong magazine
  • Dolley
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Salome
  • female students
  • women's roles

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