Chapter

Calvary to resurrection: Summer 1874–82

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719081095.003.0005
Calvary to resurrection: Summer 1874–82

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This chapter presents a narrative set within the context of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy's work as honorary secretary of the Married Women's Property Committee (MWPC). Elizabeth worked hard to shield Ben Elmy from the censure of their friends. The principles of moral ‘justice’ and freedom of expression long held by Elizabeth and Ben were pushed aside, and the ‘flutterings in the suffrage dovecotes’ escalated. As their son, Frank Elmy, approached his first birthday, his mother faced the challenge of resurrecting the MWPC from the doldrums. While Elizabeth's efforts to improve the lives of the married women of Britain received commendation by at least some of her peers, her attempts to change attitudes to encompass a perception of wives as possessing a moral right to determine their own actions were less successful. The Criminal Code Bill did not pass into law, much to Elizabeth's satisfaction.

Keywords: Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy; Married Women's Property Committee; Ben Elmy; Britain; moral right; Criminal Code Bill

Chapter.  11089 words. 

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