by Mabel Richmond Brailsford
Mabel Richmond Brailsford was not a Friend, but this work is considered to be truthful, extremely well researched, and also sympathetic. Brailsford did extensive research at the Library at Devonshire House in order to complete the portraits of numerous Quaker women, such as Margaret Fell, Barbara Blaugdone, Elizabeth Hooton, Elizabeth Fletcher, Jane Stuart, and Mary Fisher. The biographies paint a picture of the power that women held within the Quaker community, as opposed to other religious denominations at the time. It also offers a lot of information on the individual travels, writings, experiences, and also systemic failures that each of these women faced. Some have argued this is as much an adventure story as it is a set of biographies. She gives an excellent early history of both Quakers and England between 1650-1690.
Brailsford wrote a great deal, including other works on Quakers, such as The Making of William Penn (1930). She often focused on religions and figures within those movements, such as Susanna Wesley, the mother of Methodism, A Quaker from Cromwell’s army: James Nayler, and A Tale of Two Brothers: John and Charles Wesley.