In 1905, former Honorary Secretary of the London School of Medicine for Women (LSMW), Isabel orne, published a small account which celebrated thirty years of the institution. While this was intended primarily as an historical narrative describing the foundation of the School, it also contained portraits of a few illustrious and talented alumni, some of whom had died tragically pursuing their goal. e nal paragraphs of the Sketch were directed rmly at the ‘successive generation of students’, those lucky ones for whom the road had ‘been cleared and the way made easy’ and whose only burden was not the individual struggle borne bravely by their predecessors but a collective weight of social and professional expectation.1 For the early twentieth-century female medical student, carrying ‘on the traditions handed down to them’, following ‘in the footsteps’ of the great names meant exhibiting both skilfulness ‘in the practice of her profession, but also [as] an example to all other women for purity of mind and large heartedness’.2 Isabel orne concluded the Sketch with a awless portrait of the ‘ideal qualities’ of the medical woman:
To embody all the requisite characteristics of a successful female doctor, the medical student needed mental, moral and physical tness for her chosen career, while retaining every facet of her womanliness. It is hardly surprising that some students found their years at medical school and the demands of ‘community life’ ‘strenuous’.4 For the fi n-de-siècle and early twentieth-century female medical student, stamina was all. Pressure to succeed, without breaking down in mind, morals or body, was inculcated from their rst day at the LSMW by the pioneering generation, who had battled for acceptance by society and the profession itself and desired to maintain a formidable reputation for uprightness and strength.