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Eileen Power circa 1930.
9 January 1889|
8 August 1940 (aged 51)|
|Known for||Medieval History|
Early life and education
Eileen Power was the eldest daughter of a stockbroker and was born at Altrincham (now part of Greater Manchester) in 1889. She was a sister of Rhoda Power, the children's writer and broadcaster. She was educated at Oxford High School for Girls, Girton College, Cambridge, and the Sorbonne.
Power was Director of Studies in History at Girton College (1913–21), Lecturer in Political Science at the London School of Economics (1921–24), and Reader of the University of London (1924–31). In 1931 she became Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Her most famous book, Medieval People, was published in 1924. In 1927 Power founded the Economic History Review. In 1933 she joined the head of LSE, William Beveridge, in establishing the Academic Freedom Committee, an organization that helped academics fleeing from Nazi Germany. A critic of Britain's foreign policy, Power was an active member of the Union of Democratic Control.
In 1937 Power married her pupil and colleague, the historian Michael Postan, Professor of Economic History at the University of Cambridge, having previously been engaged to Reginald Johnston, tutor to the last Emperor of China, Puyi. She died of heart failure in 1940.
Her book The Wool Trade in English Medieval History (1941) was published posthumously. Medieval Women was reissued in 1975.
- The Paycockes of Coggeshall (1919)
- The Unconquered Knight. A Chronicle of the Deeds of Don Pero Nino, Count of Buelna de Gamez (1920) editor
- Medieval English Nunneries (1922)
- Medieval People (1924)
- Tudor Economic Documents (1924, three volumes) editor with R. H. Tawney
- Don Juan of Persia: A Shiah Catholic (1926) editor with E. Denison Ross
- Pero Tafur travels and adventures 1435-1439 (1926) editor with E. Denison Ross
- Boys & Girls of History (1926) with Rhoda Power
- The Diary of Henry Teonge, Chaplain on Board H.M.'s Ships Assistance, Bristol, and Royal Oak, 1675-1679, editor with E. Denison Ross
- John Macdonald Travels (1745–1779) (1927) editor with E. Denison Ross
- Cities and Their Stories, an Introduction to the Study Of European History (1927) with Rhoda Power
- Hans Staden. The True History of His Captivity - 1557 (1928) editor with E. Denison Ross
- Hernando Cortes - Five Letters 1519-1526 (1928) editor with E. Denison Ross
- Huc & Gabet. Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China 1844-46, George Routledge (1928, 2 volumes) ed. Eileen Power and E. Denison Ross
- The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy By A Citizen of Paris c. 1393 (1928) translator
- More Boys & Girls of History (1928) with Rhoda Power
- Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte : Mozart's Librettist (1929) editor with Elizabeth Drew
- Sir Lancelot of the Lake : a French Prose Romance of the Thirteenth Century (1929) editor with G. G. Coulton
- The Autobiography of Ousama (1929) editor with G. G. Coulton
- Jahangir and the Jesuits by Fernao Guerreiro, ed. Eileen Power and E. Denison Ross (1930); Routledge (2004) ISBN 0-415-34482-4
- The Works of Liudprand of Cremona (1930) editor with G. C. Coulton
- Madame D'Aulnoy: Travels into Spain (1930) editor with E. Denison Ross
- English Trade in 15th Century (1933) with Michael Postan
- Bernal Diaz Del Castillo, the Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521 (1936) editor with E. Denison Ross
- The Wool Trade in English Medieval History (1941) The Ford Lectures for 1939.
- Cambridge Economic History of Europe, Vol. 1: The Agrarian Life of the Middle Ages (1942) editor with J. H. Clapham
- Medieval Women (1975)
- Thomas Gage The English-American A New Survey of the West Indies 1648 editor with E. Denison Ross
- Berg, Maxine (1996). A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889-1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56852-4.