Margaret Tuke

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Dame Margaret Janson Tuke (13 March 1862, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England – 21 February 1947, Hitchin)[1] was a British academic and educator. She was the youngest child of James Hack Tuke.


She was educated at home until she was 15 and then for two years at St John's School in Withdean, now part of Brighton, East Sussex. She also went to Bedford College in London one day a week in Michaelmas term 1879. In 1885 she became one of the first women to go up to Cambridge University, where she read Modern and Medieval Languages at Newnham, gaining the equivalent of a first class honours degree in 1888. As women were not awarded degrees by Cambridge at the time, her BA and MA were conferred upon her by Trinity College, Dublin in 1905.[1] (Women were only able to receive Cambridge degrees after 1948.)


Tuke was principal of Bedford College from 1906–29 and a Fellow at Newnham from 1905 to 1936.

In September 1937 Dame Margaret presented the Library of Royal Holloway, University of London with a collection of Italian Renaissance letters. Dating from 1526–1697, they deal principally with the family and business affairs of the Florentine Ridolfi family. The Tuke manuscript collection enhanced the research potential of existing works of Italian literature ranging from the 16th to 20th century, of which Battitista Guarini's Poetical Works (1630) and Gian Giorgio Trissino's La Sophonisba (1530) are examples in the collection.

Personal life[edit]

Tuke shared interweaving, intimate relationships with other female writers, with whom she annually shared a rented summer home[2] with Caroline Spurgeon and Virginia Gildersleeve and others. She was known there as "Meta".


See also[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ethel Hurlbatt
Principal of Bedford College
University of London

Succeeded by
Geraldine Emma May Jebb