Frances Mary Buss, who began her teaching career at fourteen, was only twenty-three when she founded the North London Collegiate School, the forerunner and model of Girls' High Schools throughout the country. Her friend Dorothea Beale was for nearly fifty years Principal of Cheltenham Ladies College, which she changed from an insignificant local school into a school and college with a comprehensive teacher training department and with upwards of a thousand pupils. She was also the founder of St.Hilda's College, Oxford. Imbued with strong religious principles and endowed with immense energy and industry, the two women exercised a powerful influence on the development of women's education in Britain. Yet both had to contend with bitter opposition and disillusionment. This is the first joint biography of Miss Buss and Miss Beale and it gives a fascinating comparison of their methods and widely differing characters. The author had access to hitherto unpublished material, and gathered information from pupils of both schools and from others who knew the two headmistresses, ensuring that the book, whilst full of anecdotes, is also authoritative.