'I have long admired the college's unique mission of helping mature women'

January 4, 2008

Author and expert on 18th century writers becomes the seventh president of women-only Cambridge college.

A leading expert on Restoration and 18th-century women writers has been elected as the next president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Janet Todd, who will be the seventh president of the women-only college, joins from Aberdeen University, having previously taught in Africa, the US and Puerto Rico.

She said: "I have long admired Lucy Cavendish and its unique mission within the university of helping mature women to benefit from tertiary education when they feel ready for it; I look forward immensely to working with the governing body, students and staff in pursuit of this mission."

Professor Todd has brought the work of previously little known authors such as Charlotte Smith, Aphra Behn and Helen Maria Williams to public attention, and among her many books are biographies of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Irish pupil, Lady Mount Cashell.

Most recently she was the general editor of the nine-volume Cambridge edition of Jane Austen. She is also the author of the acclaimed Sign of Angellica: Women, Writing and Fiction 1660-1800 and has just published Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle .

She has helped establish important initiatives at other universities, including the life-writing course at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for The Novel at Aberdeen.

Professor Todd will succeed Dame Veronica Sutherland, who is to step down next September after seven years in the post.

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