skip to primary navigationskip to content

G C Young and W H Young, The Theory of Sets of Points

Theory of sets of points

Grace Chisholm Young & W. H. Young,

The Theory of Sets of Points.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1906

STORE 224:11

Grace and William Young’s The Theory of Sets of Points was the first English introduction to some aspects of set theory; principally sets of orthogonal functions, point set topology and its application to integration, and properties of Fourier series. Grace studied at Girton College and was a wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos in 1892. Along with a friend, she then unofficially took the Final Honours School of Mathematics exam in Oxford, where she also gained a first class mark. Grace took her Ph.D. in Göttingen, becoming the first woman to be awarded a Doctorate in Germany.

This is Grace’s own copy of The Theory of Sets of Points. It is crammed with marginalia of all descriptions, including annotations, corrections, addenda, and refinements for a proposed second edition. However, the book also contains correspondence between Grace and her husband, as well as many other leading mathematicians of the day, of both a professional and a personal nature. Grace has also stuck in photographs of her husband and their youngest son Laurie (their eldest, Frank, was killed in 1917 serving with the RFC), along with a watercolour of Laurie with ‘ivy in his golden hair’. With the amount of extra material present in this volume, it has become a fascinating palimpsest of the personal and professional life of a ground-breaking female mathematician.

Previous  /  Next

From 5pm on March 18, the University Library and all Faculty and Departmental Libraries will close to readers until further notice. The Whipple Library is closed, but not shut down. We remain open online. Please check our FAQs for information on how to access Library services during this time. Email enquiries to




  Whipple Library   All libraries