Louise Lind-af-Hageby - Early Life and Education

Early Life and Education

Born into a wealthy and noble Swedish family, Lind af Hageby was the granddaughter of the chamberlain to the King of Sweden, and the daughter of Emil Lind af Hageby, a prominent lawyer. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College in England, which gave her access to the kind of education unavailable to most women. This, combined with a private income from her family, enabled her to pursue her political activism, writing and travelling around the world to deliver lectures, first in opposition to child labour and prostitution, then in support of women's emancipation, and later animal rights.

A Daily Mail journalist reported in 1914, when she spoke to the Glasgow Vegetarian Society, that he had expected to find a "square jawed, high browed, slightly angular, and severely and intellectually frugal looking" woman, but instead found "a pretty, little, plump woman, with kind brown eyes, eyes that twinkle ... She was not even dowdy and undecorative. Her blue dress was ... pretty as anyone could wish." He wrote that he was "almost converted to vegetarianism" by her "straight, hard logic."

After college, Lind af Hageby spent time in Paris, where she and a friend from Sweden, Leisa Katherine Schartau, visited the Pasteur Institute in 1900. They were distressed by the vivisection they saw taking place there, and when they returned to Sweden joined the Nordiska samfundet till bekämpande av det vetenskapliga djurplågeriet (the Nordic Anti-Vivisection Society). Lind af Hageby became its honorary chair in 1901. In 1902 the women decided to move from Sweden to England, and enroll as students at the London School of Medicine for Women to gain the medical knowledge they needed to train themselves as anti-vivisection activists.

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