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Women Against the VoteFemale Anti-Suffragism in Britain$
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Julia Bush

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.001.0001

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Women Writers

Women Writers

Chapter:
(p.75) 4 Women Writers
Source:
Women Against the Vote
Author(s):

Julia Bush (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.003.0004

The anti-suffrage cause was very fortunate in its women writers. Opponents of votes for women included many of the best-selling female novelists of the day and a number of prominent women writers on social issues. This chapter considers the relationship between women writers and women readers, and the role of the New Woman as a late 19th-century literary icon. The novels of Charlotte Yonge, Eliza Lynn Linton, Mary Ward, and Marie Corelli are discussed in relation to these authors' anti-suffrage beliefs, and their fears of the deeper threat which suffragism posed to gender relations and the established social order. The same writers' journalism frequently spelt out such threats in lurid detail. The final section of the chapter returns to issues of social service and social reform. Some anti-suffrage reformers made their impact upon social thinking through their writings as well as through social action, including Octavia Hill, Beatrice Webb, and Florence Bell.

Keywords:   the New Woman, journalism, social reform, Charlotte Yonge, Eliza Lynn Linton, Mary Ward, Marie Corelli, Octavia Hill, Beatrice Webb, Florence Bell

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