This is a fascinating book. To look up some familiar or half-familiar name among the 580 biographical sketches offered is to be drawn irresistibly into a web of lives, some connected by personal ties, others by common interests, all of them distinguished by energies and talents and some of them of the utmost distinction. The range and achievement of the women of one county laid out here fully justifies the editor's intention to bring into the open a record of women's works which have been commonly disregarded in male-oriented histories. Well-judged sub-divisions and cross referencing make the book, as is claimed, both informative and accessible while the many photographs are a source of special pleasure. Extracts from contemporary newspapers add further depth to the scene as do sections at the end which fill in more of the social background against which the women lived their lives. This is a work of energy, enthusiasm and expertise and, as a consequence, a source of both pleasure and illumination.
Joan Rees, Professor of English Literature
Notable Sussex Women is truly amazing, a tribute to the indefatigable energy of Helena Wojtczak. The 580 notable women, over 90% of who were born between 1801 and 1900, are sorted alphabetically by village or town within three major areas - West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, and East Sussex.
The first thirteen pages of the book have a clearly written and immensely readable précis of the difficulties faced by women in their long struggle for emancipation in a hostile masculine world and this section has over two dozen well chosen marginal quotations from well known figures.
In short, this book contains something of interest for everyone, and should grace the bookshelves of not only those interested in social history, or of Sussex, or of women's fight for emancipation, but also of those interested in exploration, or any of the myriad occupations and hobbies of these notable women.