[Robert Ranulph Marett, Oxford ethnologist and archaeologist, on 'Women anthropologists' and Oxford.] Autograph Letter Signed ('R. R. Marett') to 'Mr. Westlake' [Ernest Westlake], regarding his daughter's desire to study anthropology at Oxford.

R. R. Marett [Robert Ranulph Marett] (1866-1943), Oxford ethnologist and archaeologist, exponent of the British Evolutionary School of cultural anthropology [Ernest Westlake (1855-1922)]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of La Haule Manor, Jersey. 11 August 1915.
SKU: 21095

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with rust-spotting at foot and to one margin. An interesting document relating to the early days of women's admission to British universities. The recipient is the geologist Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), and the subject is his daughter Margaret Agnes Westlake, who would become a diploma student at St Hugh's. Westlake's papers are held at the Museum of Natural History, Oxford. Marett thinks it is 'a bother about your daughter not being able to enter Somerville, but Somerville is not Oxford'. He suggests she try 'St Hugh's (cheaper than S. and enlarging itself, so likely to have vacancies); or why not simply enrol as a Home Student?' He thinks he 'could get her admitted straight away as a student of anthropology; for [Heathers?] showed me her essays, and I thought well of them and could testify that she was of considerable ability'. Although this might not be the course ('I mean anthropology minus classical mods., or what not') she was 'set on', he thinks it would 'prove very stimulating and enlarging to the mind'). He cannot 'discuss the question whether anthropology would pay, whether it would lead directly to a practical career and so on. All that is beside the point, when it is a question of education – of growing a soul.' It is 'Time and opportunity' which will tell 'how far one's realized powers' will be pointed in the right direction, 'but depend on it, they make themselves felt for the bettering of human life somehow'. He concludes with the reassurance that there is 'plenty of work to be done by women anthropologists. I have two or three of them at work now – Mrs Czaplicka [Maria Antonina Czaplicka (1884-1921), Polish anthropologist] in Siberia for instance. Baldwin Spencer [W, Baldwin Spencer (1860-1929), Anglo-Australian anthropologist] wants women workers in Australia. Money will be scarce, after the war, however.'