1st Edition

Margaret McMillan Portrait of a Pioneer

By Elizabeth Bradburn Copyright 1989
    282 Pages
    by Routledge

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    A pioneer of nursery education in inner-city areas, Margaret McMillan changed the course of British educational history. While many are aware of the various social reforms she initiated, few are familiar with the life of the woman herself. Originally published in 1989, working from her own fresh collection of Margaret McMillan’s letters and newspaper articles, Dr Bradburn tells in full the inspiring story of a cultured woman who found a new motivation.

    Born in America into a middle-class family in 1860, Margaret McMillan spent most of her life in Britain struggling to improve the lot of the poor and needy. Outraged by the living and working conditions of labourers in Victorian England, she turned her moral indignation into effective action by throwing herself into a campaign for a more just and compassionate society. She was a colleague of Keir Hardie, a founder member of the Independent Labour Party, and worked wholeheartedly from the 1890s for the betterment and advancement of the human race. J. B. Priestley, who knew Margaret McMillan when she was a member of the Bradford School Board, later described as ‘one of those terrible nuisances who get things done and do more good than a load of bishops’.

    In the light of discussions on the urgent need for urban renewal and improvements in nursery education at the time of original publication, a review of the innovative work of Margaret McMillan was timely. This well-documented biography gives fascinating glimpses of a remarkable pilgrimage whose results have not been effaced by time.

    Preface.  Acknowledgements.  Major Life Events and Publications.  1. Introduction  2. Childhood Influences  3. Embarking on a Career 1878–89  4. From Ludlow to Bloomsbury 1889–92  5. Park Lane Decision 1892  6. A New Political Party 1892–3  7. Bradford 1893–4  8. On the Bradford School Board 1894–1901  9. Leaving Bradford 1901–2  10. The Years Between 1902–5  11. School Meals Victory 1906  12. Mother of School Medical Inspection 1907  13. Starting a Health Centre in Bow 1908–10  14. Nothing Less than a New Crusade 1910  15. Night Camps and a Camp School 1911– 13  16. A Camp for Pre-school Children 1911– 14  17. With Rachel in the Way Years 1914– 17  18. State Provision of Nursery Schools 1917– 19  19. Our Maggie  20. The Rachel McMillan Open-air Nursey School 1918– 19  21. Developing the Nursery School and Training Centre 1919– 25  22. A Dream College 1925–30  23. Bowing Out from the World Stage 1930– 1  24. Some Personal Observations  25. Afterword – Some Unfinished Tasks.  Notes.  Index.


    Elizabeth Bradburn