Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/607

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603
STATISTICAL STUDY OF EMINENT WOMEN

the social customs of their times, they found in this relation an opportunity to meet and associate with men of their own intellectual power. Were it not so, it scarcely seems probable that mere beauty or pleasing personality which, fascinated some weak-minded king could have been sufficient reason for the high degree of merit which history has accorded them.

The artists rank comparatively low in merit. However, if we consider the groups of activity in which women have actually done things —attained their eminence by genuine labor—of the groups sufficiently large in size to expect accuracy in results, we note that the artists rank higher than the actresses, writers or musicians. A possible explanation of the very low degree of merit accorded the musicians is the fact that 43 of the 49 belong to the nineteenth century, and of these 43, 20 are living at the present time, so their merit is not yet accurately determined.

The merit of George Sand, Madame de Staël, Madame de Sévigné, George Eliot, Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Stowe and Charlotte Brontë is not sufficient, when grouped with so many writers of less ability, to bring the average for the group "Literature" to more than 29.74.

 

Index of Merit for Occupations

Average No.
of Lines
No. Cases on which
Average is Based
Sovereign 112.10 59
Political influence 62.13 19
Motherhood 46.14 10
Mistress 46.09 29
Beauty 44.62 6
Religion 43.58 64
Tragic fate 42.83 11
Marriage 38.09 87
Patron of learning 37.60 6
Heroine 35.46 10
Scholar 35.35 20
Artist 34.54 17
Reformer 32.29 9
Actress 32.02 56
Literature 29.74 337
Immortalized in literature 29.30 6
Music 27.46 49
Birth 27.45 39
 

Considerable interest always attaches to the wives of eminent men, and to the husbands of eminent women. Personally, we do not believe that, with rational people, love is blind, hence it seems that a study of the marriage relations of this group of eminent women ought to reveal information, not only interesting, but valuable in throwing light on certain social and psychological problems. We must remember