Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Bodichon, Madame

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BODICHON, Madame, whose name was Barbara Leigh Smith, the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Benjamin Smith, many years M.P. for Norwich, was born April 8, 1827, at Watlington, Sussex, and at an early age took a deep interest in social questions. In 1855–56 she commenced, in conjunction with some personal friends, a movement having for its object to secure to married women their own property and earnings; and although their efforts did not prove successful in obtaining directly from Parliament the measure they desired, they led to a change in the law of marriage and divorce. Miss Smith established at Paddington a school for the education of the daughters of artisans of the middle class. In July, 1857, she married M.Eugène Bodichon, M.D., and has since resided in Algeria, on which country she has, in conjunction with her husband, published an interesting and valuable work. Madame Bodichon, by her efforts and munificent donation of £1000, was mainly instrumental, with Miss Emily Davies, in founding the now flourishing and well-known College for Women at Girton, near Cambridge, where precisely the same course of academical instruction afforded to men in the universities is given to female students. It is, however, as a charming and original water-colour artist that Madame Bodichon is best known to the public, her collection of water-colour drawings having been exhibited several times in London with great success, also at the Royal Academy, Dudley Gallery, Paris, and elsewhere. Poetic treatment, boldness of execution, and a keen eye for the subtler aspects of Nature, characterise all Madame Bodichon's works, which have ever found appreciative criticism and a large public.