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CodeNA921
Dates1835-1895
Person NameFaithfull; Emily (1835-1895); publisher and women's activist
SurnameFaithfull
ForenamesEmily
Epithetpublisher and women's activist
Activity[The text below has been copied onto the collection-level record for 7EFA].

Emily Faithfull (1835-1895), the youngest child of Revd. Ferdinand Faithfull, rector of Headley in Surrey and former rector at Hatfield, and his wife, Elizabeth Mary, was born on 27 May 1835. She was educated at home in Headley and, from the age of 13, at a boarding school in Kensington. Emily was presented at court in 1857, aged 21. While still a young woman, she made the acquaintance of Lady Blanche Balfour, the remarkable mother of Arthur Balfour and his four brothers, all of whom were taught by Emily Faithfull's brother-in-law, Rev. Charles Chittenden, at the Grange at Hoddesdon, and three sisters. Emily served as an assistant to Lady Balfour for a time and, as the letters reveal, was greatly loved by all the Balfour children who considered her a member of the family. A tireless champion of causes, Emily became a member of the Langham Place Group, which worked to improve the situation of women. Emily had special interest in women's employment, which later led her to write and give lectures on the subject. In 1859, she co-founded the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women (SPEW) with Jessie Boucherett, Barbara Bodichon and Bessie Rayner Parkes. The same year, Emily also served as secretary to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Sciences. [Bessie Rayner?] Parkes, also a member, introduced her to the printing press, and in March 1860, Emily founded her own printing house, The Victoria Press. The Press, first housed in Great Coram Street, later in Farringdon Street, and finally in Praed Street, London, provided employment for women typesetters. Just two years later in 1862, Emily was appointed "Printer and Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty." From 1863 to 1880, she also published and edited the "Victoria Magazine," which became a voice for those championing women's employment. William Wilfred Head bought The Victoria Press from Faithfull in 1869 and continued to employ women as typesetters and printers. In 1882, it became the Queen Printing and Publishing Company. In 1864, due to her close friendship with his wife, Helen Jane, Emily was involved in the public scandal of the divorce case of Admiral (Sir) Henry Codrington, which threatened to damage her public reputation. She subsequently refused to testify against Codrington. Emily became one of the first women to join the Women's Trade Union League, founded in 1875 by Emma Paterson. She also served as Treasurer to a girls' club in Conduit Street in Bloomsbury, and, after moving to Manchester, ran the local branch of the Colonial Emigration Society. In 1872, Emily made her first visit to the United States where her talks were well received; she re-visited in 1882 and 1883-1884 and produced a book entitled "Three Visits to America" (Edinburgh, 1874), which compared the movements for women's work in England [Britain?] and America. She also published one novel. In 1874, Emily was involved in establishing the Women's Printing Society, and in 1877, founded the "West London Express," which lasted only eighteen months. She was also on the staff of the "London Pictorial." In 1881, Emily helped found the International Musical, Dramatic, and Literary Association, which was concerned with securing better protection for creative artists through copyright. Emily received £100 from the royal bounty in 1886 and, from 1889, received an annual civil-list pension of £50. After suffering for many years with asthma and bronchitis, Emily died 31 May 1895 in Manchester at the age of 60.
GenderFemale
Address1872, 50 Norfolk Square, Hyde Park London;
1895, 10 Plymouth Grove, Manchester
SourceThe following were referred to in compiling this biography:
'Emily Faithfull and the Victoria Press. An experiment in sociological bibliography'. By William E Fredeman 'The Library' (5th Series, Vol XXIX (2)) pp. 143-5, 1974).
'More light on Emily Faithfull and the Victoria Press'. By JS Stone, 'The Library (Vol XXXIII, pp.63-7, 1978).
'Emily Faithfull - Victorian Champion of Women's Rights' By James S Stone, pamphlet published by PD Meany Publishers Toronto 1994
'The Victoria Press' By WW Head 1869
'Women of the Day' By Frances Hays (London, Chatto & Windus 1885)
'The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'
See also: The life and death of Emily Wilding Davison by Morley, Ann (with Liz Stanley) (Women's Press, 1988)
* One-way ticket to Epsom : a journalist's enquiry into the heroic story of Emily Wilding Davison by Sleight, John (Morpeth (4B Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1NB) : Bridge Studios, 1988)
* In memoriam : Miss Emily Wilding Davison, B.A. [1913]
* Who was Emily Davison : the girl who gave her life for her cause / by Claudia FitzHerbert (London : Short, 2004)
* The life of Emily Davison : an outline / by G.Colmore (London : the Woman's Press, 1913)

This biography was enhanced by Joan Huffman, whose research was edited by Liz Taylor, The Women's Library Archivist, in Jul 2012.
Catalogue
RefNoTitle
9/02/042Miss Emily Faithfull to [unknown]
9/18Autograph Letter Collection: Women in the Arts
9/02Autograph Letter Collection: General Women's Movement
7EFAPapers of Emily Faithfull: autograph letters
1FMERecords of the Female Middle Class Emigration Society
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