Alice Zimmern, (1855-1939) champion of women’s independence, education and suffrage moved into 41Parliament Hill Mansions shortly after the flats were completed, and lived in
Alice Zimmern’s early working life was spent in teaching, and writing text books designed to make learning interesting for her students, but by the time she moved to Lissenden gardens, research and writing had taken over from teaching, and it is as an erudite - and highly readable and persuasive - advocate for education for girls and votes for women that Alice Zimmern is now mainly remembered.
Alice Zimmern contributed numerous articles to journals such as Forum and the Leisure Hour, comparing the different education systems she observed in her travels, and, increasingly, reflecting on the education of women. In Women's Suffrage in Many Lands (1909), written to coincide with the Fourth Congress of the International Women's Suffrage Alliance, she finds a number of historical precedents for women's entitlement to the franchise and makes the argument that granting women the vote would, in some cases, merely reinstate a previously held right. Importantly, she shows, through a wide range of examples from different countries, that there is an ‘intimate …connexion between enfranchisement and the just treatment of women’. While most of the arguments she presents are moderate and pragmatic, she readily acknowledges the militant tactics of British suffragettes as effective in making women's suffrage ‘the question of the day’. Both Zimmern's The Renaissance of Girls' Education (1898) and Women's Suffrage in Many Lands made a major contribution to contemporary debates about the education and political rights of women.
Zimmern's ability to travel widely became limited by arthritis in the last decades of her life, though she continued to entertain many international visitors with feminist and pacifist interests in her