Isabella Elder (1828-1905) was a benefactress and philanthropist, who promoted education, especially among women and was concerned with the welfare of the people of Govan. She built the Elder Free Library, a School of Domestic Economy, the Cottage Hospital and a Nurses’ Training Home. She also created Elder Park, where this statue is sited. The seated statue, which depicts Elder in academic robes, was erected in 1906 by public subscription. It is very rare to find a statue to a non-royal woman at this period.
Location: Elder Park, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland.
George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pseudonym adopted by Mary Ann Evans in order for her writing to be taken seriously and published at a time when the idea of a female author would have met with disapproval. She is an internationally renowned novelist, whose works reflect provincial life in the Victorian era with perceptive characterisation and sharp psychological insight. She wrote several novels Middlemarch, Silas Marner and Mill on the Floss being perhaps among the best known. She was also an essayist, journalist and poet.
Eliot was born at Arbury which is near Nuneaton. From 1854 until 1878 she lived with the philosopher and critic, George Henry Lewes, a married man, who encouraged her writing. In 1880, she married John Walter Cross, but died in December of that year at 4, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and is buried in Highgate Cemetery, London.
This statue was commissioned by the George Eliot Fellowship. There is a second later cast of 1996 outside the George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Location: Newdegate Square, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pseudonym adopted by Mary Ann Evans in order for her writing to be taken seriously and published at a time when the idea of a female author would have met with disapproval. For more detail of her life see previous entry. This is a second bronze cast of the statue in Newdegate Square, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Location: George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Dame Millicent Fawcett
Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, GBE (1847–1929) was a politician, writer and feminist, who campaigned for women’s suffrage through legal change and was not a militant. From 1897 to 1919, she led the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), which was Britain’s largest women’s rights association. The statue portrays Fawcett holding a banner reading ‘COURAGE/CALLS TO/ COURAGE/EVERYWHERE’. It was commissioned as part of the year centenary celebrations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women over the age of thirty, who met certain property requirements, the right to vote.
This is the first statue of a woman to be erected in Parliament Square.
Location: Parliament Square, London SW1.
Dame Gracie Fields
Dame Gracie Fields, DBE (1898-1979) was an actress, singer and comedian. This bronze statue was unveiled in September 2016 to local acclaim. Rochdale was Fields’ hometown, and although she retired to the island of Capri in Italy, she never forgot her roots and often returned.
This statue is believed to be the first statue of a woman erected in Greater Manchester for over 100 years.
Location: Town Hall Square, Rochdale, Lancashire.
Dame Margot Fonteyn
Dame Margot Fonteyn, DBE (1919-1991), prima ballerina. The statue depicts her as the water sprite, Ondine, which was her favourite role. She was professionally paired for some years with the Russian dancer, Rudolf Nureyev. Fonteyn was President of the Royal Academy of Dancing. The bronze was unveiled by Fonteyn herself in 1980, it was commissioned by her international fans. Fonteyn was born in Reigate to a half-Brazilian mother and an English father.
Location: Outside Watson House, London Road, Reigate, Surrey.
Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), sculptor and printmaker. This sympathetic portrait statue by a fellow artist was purchased by the Harlow Art Trust in 1957, the year after it was cast. In its listing of the work Historic England notes that it is unusual to find a public sculpture of a woman artist at this date and that it was an early acquisition by the Harlow Art Trust. They further point out that the statue is ‘a rare full figure portrait sculpture by this significant C20 artist.’
Location: West Walk, Harlow, Essex.
Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), sculptor and printmaker. A second cast of the Harlow statue, this bronze was made using the original moulds in 1965. This statue was shown at the Herbert Gallery in an exhibition called ‘Metamorphosis’. It was then placed on permanent display outside the entrance in 1966.
Location: Outside Herbert Gallery, Coventry, West Midlands.
Ekaterine (Kate) Frolov
Ekaterine (Kate) Frolov (1986-2000), a poignant memorial to a fourteen year old Russian girl, who was studying English at a language school in the town. She died when she fell from nearby cliffs in the fog. Her family erected this bronze statue which stands over Ilfracombe Bay in 2009.
Location: Capstone Hill, Ilfracombe, Devon.
Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), prison and social reformer, and philanthropist. This marble statue was erected in 1912 in the Old Bailey, which is the site of the former Newgate Prison.
Location: Grand Hall of the Old Bailey, London EC4.