Sybil Neville-Rolfe (1885-1955): Background information when reading The Foundling

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Foundling

A Novel

by Ann Leary

The Foundling by Ann Leary X
The Foundling by Ann Leary
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2022, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 4, 2023, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Grace Graham-Taylor
Buy This Book

About this Book

Sybil Neville-Rolfe (1885-1955)

This article relates to The Foundling

Sepia-toned portrait photo of Sybil Neville-Rolfe, turned at an angle and gazing away from the camera Dr. Agnes Vogel, The Foundling's complicated eugenicist arch-villain, has many real analogues in history. As the eugenics movement bloomed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women played an instrumental role in how its ideas took shape. In Britain, Sybil Neville-Rolfe (née Sybil Burney) was the founder of the Eugenics Education Society, a project that sought to harness theories of biological evolution for its own vision of societal advancement. Neville-Rolfe's legacy is a dubious one; she aimed to eradicate poverty and took stances to protect and support women, but her racist, classist and homophobic beliefs led her to advocate for policies that were cruel and discriminatory. Many of her views are directly echoed by Dr. Vogel in Leary's novel.

Neville-Rolfe was born in Greenwich, England on the 22nd of June in 1885, to a family of good standing. At 16, she became interested in prostitution as a social problem, inspired by the writings of novelist and journalist ...

Subscribers Only

This article is only available to members at this time, but you can read these articles for free.

About Membership


Member Login


Library Patron Login

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Poet's House
    The Poet's House
    by Jean Thompson
    Seasoned author Jean Thompson's previous novels include A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, The Humanity...
  • Book Jacket
    Some of It Was Real
    by Nan Fischer
    Nan Fischer is an Oregon Book Award finalist for her previous novels When Elephants Fly and The ...
  • Book Jacket: The Most Precious Substance on Earth
    The Most Precious Substance on Earth
    by Shashi Bhat
    Think of all the worst parts of puberty — all the moments you partially miss or brood about ...
  • Book Jacket
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
All the Lonely People
by Mike Gayle
A cozy novel for fans of A Man Called Ove. A widowed retiree will rediscover the world he’s turned his back on.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dirt Creek
    by Hayley Scrivenor

    "A heart-wrenching mystery, Scrivenor's remarkable sense of place brings Dirt Creek to life. A stellar debut."
    —Jane Harper,

  • Book Jacket

    Widowland
    by C. J. Carey

    A thrilling feminist dystopian novel set in an alternate 1950s Britain under the control of the Third Reich.

Who Said...

Harvard is the storehouse of knowledge because the freshmen bring so much in and the graduates take so little out.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wishes W H B W R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.