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April 13, 1873

At the invitation of Maria Mitchell, the English women’s rights activist Emily Faithfull, a publisher and the editor of The Victoria Magazine, lectured at Vassar. Faithfull returned to the college in April 1883, and she compared her two visits in Three Visits to America (1884). Of this first view of the college, she said, “I was not prepared for the beauthiful surroundings of the college, which is charmingly situated on the banks of the magnificent Hudson river, with the Catskill mountains stretching along the north and the Fishkills on the south.” While she regretted, on her later visit, the closing of Vassar’s riding school—“’Want of funds’ was the reason assigned”—she found “the life of these bright and enthusiastic girls” enviable in almost every way. She also offered in this essay a moving portrait of Maria Mitchell: “As you look into that strong, good face, shadowed by grey curls, which soften its outline and grace it with a beauty which often comes with age, you can understand the magnetic sympathy which holds her youthful scholars spellbound, and makes their scientific investigations full of delight as well as of wonder.”

Emily Faithfull’s Victoria Magazine reprinted Professor James Orton’s essay about his work at Vassar from The Liberal Education of Women (1873) and what Faithfull calleld, “a remarkable paper,” Maria Mitchell’s address to the American Association for the Advancement of Women’s 1876 congress on “The Need for Women in Science.”

The Years