Elizabeth Fry

by June Rose

Paperback, 1994



Call number

B FRY ROS 1994


Quaker Books (1994), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 218 pages


0852452608 / 9780852452608

Local notes

inscription: Gift of John McMahon

Other editions

Elizabeth Fry by June Rose (Hardcover)


Elizabeth Fry, mother of eleven children and a Quaker minister, is seen as one of the most influential and enigmatic women in English history. Dismayed by the terrible prison conditions in the early 19th century, Fry drew the world's attention to the plight of incarcerated women, and became a living legend. This work presents her story.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sallylou61
This is a very interesting biography of Elizabeth Fry, a 19th century English Quaker who became deeply involved in prison reform. Elizabeth Fry was an enigma: she devoted many hours working to improve conditions for female prisoners, especially the poor, which she did on a religious basis. However,
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she grew up in a very wealthy Quaker family, and expected to have fine things -- clothing made of good quality materials, fine food, etc. throughout her life (1780-1845). She liked to mingle with royalty, lecturing to them about prison reform. She depended upon her brothers and brothers-in-law for financing both for her prison work and her family; her husband went bankrupt. Elizabeth felt that women should work outside the home only if they were poor and needed to work or if they were doing volunteer work. Although she was a Quaker minister, many Friends disapproved of her lifestyle, and Elizabeth was unable to attend many of her children's weddings since they married "outside of Meeting." She felt the family was important, but neglected her own.

Ms. Rose’s biography of Elizabeth Fry is primarily based on original manuscripts, particularly Elizabeth’s unedited journals plus journals and letters of her relatives and friends. Throughout the book, Ms. Rose gives a very well thought-out description and evaluation of Elizabeth’s life, pointing out her weaknesses in addition to her strengths, and several times explaining how circumstances differed in Elizabeth’s time from today. Being an American Friend who admires Lucretia Mott, I was interested in Ms. Rose’s description of Elizabeth’s attitude toward and treatment of Lucretia when the latter was in London for the 1840 World’s Anti-Slavery Convention (p.182-185 of the 1994 edition published by the Quaker Home Service).

Includes a few endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Highly recommended
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Call number

B FRY ROS 1994


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