Etty Woosnam was born in India to British parents. Her family returned to England to reside in Somerset when Woosnam was a teenager. Woosnam married John R. Theobalds, in 1882. She died soon after.39
Woosnam wrote Women of the Old Testament (1881) and Women of the New Testament (1885) to edify and instruct young ladies in a Bible class in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. In each chapter Woosnam chose one application for particular emphasis, and drew on a variety of sources to make her point. She was aware of the debates about woman's nature, character, and role and used her studies on biblical women as an opportunity to teach her students what she thought every Victorian young woman should know.
The application Woosnam drew from the story of Eve was that "woman's influence is appallingly great." As Eve influenced Adam to sin, so all women have the ability to influence others, especially men, for evil as well as good. She encouraged her readers to pray that the God would check the evil that their words might do, and diligently use their influence for good.
Woosnam compared Eve before the fall with the situation of women in England in the nineteenth century. Like Martyn, she saw an enormous difference between Eve in the garden and the life of women after the fall. Woosnam, however, did not consider Eve to be innocent in Eden; she argued that "she was innocent only as long as she was untried."
From Etty Woosnam, The Woman of the Bible: Old Testament (London:
S. W. Partridge, 1881), 7–17. "Text take from the 4th ed, n.d."
IT is a very humbling reflection that woman's first appearance in the world's history is the story of the Fall. The name Eve was given by Adam to his wife
39 Source: Donna Kerfoot, "Etty Woosnam: A Woman of Wisdom and Conviction" (term
paper, Wycliffe College, 2004).