The Victorian Era was marked by imperialism and remarkable territorial expansion. As a result of centuries of international conquest and cultural hegemony, the nineteenth century British world thus became an infinite and multifaceted world. The nineteenth century was also marked by ideologies that constructed the redundancy of some portions of the British population. Malthusian principles combined with the 1851 census data constructed female redundancy in the second half of the nineteenth century. Consequently, emigration societies organised the migration of “surplus” women to the British colonies, where educated women were needed. This geographical movement could also be of social and cultural nature since Victorian women were thus often offered better opportunities abroad.
The expansion of the British world during the era of New Imperialism also greatly impacted Evangelical societies which called for the international spreading of the Christian gospel. Overseas missions developed beyond Great Britain’s boundaries and offered further geographical opportunities to Victorian men, and more specifically to women. Single women, often deemed redundant by the British society, started to be accepted by missionary societies and some were sent to the remotest parts of the world. Such was the case for the women working for the China Inland Mission who were given geographical and social opportunities through their international evangelical work.