Fawcett, Millicent Garrett (1847–1929)
A leading suffragist, Millicent Garrett Fawcett was also the author of a widely used elementary textbook, Political Economy for Beginners (1870). She married Henry Fawcett in 1867, when he was already Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge, the Member of Parliament for Brighton, and sightless (the result of a stray shot from his father’s hunting gun in 1858). This led her to settle down as her husband’s full-time secretary. It also brought her at the early age of twenty into close contact with a progressive intellectual circle which included among its elder statesmen Grote and Mill, and also Maurice, Sidgwick and Cairnes. Her first published article, in Macmillan’s Magazine on Sidgwick’s lectures at Cambridge to the unrecognized women students of the day (who included Mary Paley), led to a commission from Alexander Macmillan to write a primer on political economy based on her husband’s Manual of Political Economy. While her Political Economy for Beginners is unremarkable in most respects, it does not follow Mill into the quick-sand of the wages-fund doctrine (see, for example, 1870, p. 25), and it was influential in accelerating that process of establishing economics as a suitable discipline for textbook writers which had been set in motion by Jane Marcet.