Maureen Wright

in Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy and the Victorian Feminist Movement

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719081095
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700037 | DOI:

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This chapter reviews the reasons for presenting a chronological biography of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, as opposed to a thematic or theoretical interpretation of her ideals. It also provides a brief assessment of current historiography relating to Wolstenholme Elmy. The development of Wolstenholme Elmy's feminism is then addressed. She was deeply appreciative of her transatlantic friendships. The object of this biography is to argue that Wolstenholme Elmy was foremost among the Radical suffragists of her generation and to interpret that radicalism as a force for change. Her life shows that there is no simple dichotomy between the suffragist and the suffragette. She did not consider her own sex ‘superior’, but equal, and her unshakeable belief in this equality demanded of her, from her twenties, that she live a public life. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is shown.

Keywords: Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy; feminism; chronological biography; radicalism; Radical suffragists; suffragette; historiography

Chapter.  11396 words. 

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