Biography of Mabel Atkinson
Mabel Atkinson (1876-1958) was a graduate who was President of the University's Fabian Group during the late 1890s.
Born near Stocksfield in Northumberland, Atkinson was the daughter of Jane nee Elliott (b 1853), a militant suffragette. She matriculated at the University in 1894 and graduated MA with first class honours in 1900, winning a medal as the most distinguished Arts graduate of her year. She was a research student at the University, at the London School of Economics and at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and published Local Government in Scotland in 1904.
Atkinson became a college lecturer in Durham and then with the Workers' Educational Association and King's College for Women in London, and she was active in the campaign for women's suffrage and in the Fabian Society. In 1914 she married Andrew Palmer (1886-1948) and moved with him to Australia after the First World War, but the marriage was not a success. She went to South Africa and became a lecturer in Economics and a political activist. In 1945 she was appointed Director of the new non-European section of the University of Natal.