After leaving school, the first stage in my academic career was an honours degree in English from Royal Holloway College, University of London.
Royal Holloway College was originally a women-only college, and its university scarf is in the suffragette colours of green, white and purple. While I was there, I researched the life of an ex-student, Emily Wilding Davison, who died when she stepped in front of the king’s horse at the Derby as part of the campaign for votes for women. The article I wrote on her life, In Praise of an Extremist, was subsequently published in the feminist magazines Spare Rib (UK) and Broadsheet (NZ) and is now available online, thanks to JISC.
A few years later, I completed a part-time Masters degree at Birkbeck College, University of London, in Early Modern history. My dissertation, on the Dissolution of the English Convents, was written online and saved on now-unreadable Amstrad computer disks – leaving only a couple of faintly printed versions surviving.