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Title: The Disappearance of Sophia Frances Hickman, MD
Authors: Brock, Claire L.
First Published: 23-Sep-2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: History Workshop Journal, 2015, 80(1): 161-182.
Abstract: By the start of the twentieth century, forty years after she first came into existence, the woman doctor was no longer a novelty, to be mocked or dreaded by patients and the profession alike. Women’s ‘fitness’ to practise had, indeed, been proven by the early Edwardian period. One August afternoon in 1903, Sophia Frances Hickman, a recently qualified graduate of the London School of Medicine for Women, walked out of the Royal Free Hospital and vanished. She had only just begun her locum position there and her disappearance was entirely out of character for such a stellar, prize-winning professional. Between August and October of 1903, Hickman’s disappearance was hotly debated in the lay and medical press alike. While the capabilities of the woman doctor became, once again, a subject for discussion, Sophia Frances Hickman found surprising defenders in members of her own profession, only too aware of the pressures placed on young practitioners.
DOI Link: 10.1093/hwj/dbv019
ISSN: 1363-3554
eISSN: 1477-4569
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in History Workshop Journal following peer review. The version of record Hist Workshop J (2015) 80 (1): 161-182. is available online at:
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of English

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