Professor Julia Briggs

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The Independent Online

As a contemporary of Julia Briggs [obituary, 17 August] at St Hilda's in the 1960s, writes Professor Judith Okely, I recall the awesome sight of her striding along, visibly pregnant. Technically, she was not the first "not to be expelled for being pregnant".

The previous year, another undergraduate innocently informed her tutor that her essay would be late because of early morning sickness. She had secretly married, defying St Hilda's contractual demand that we not marry. The student was banished to Reading and denied access to Oxford libraries, tutorials and lectures. But, in the last stages of pregnancy, she was permitted to return for her final examination. She wept through the ordeal.