Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience

Overview

Eleanor Rathbone cut her political teeth in the suffrage movement in Liverpool, spent two decades crafting social reforms for poor women and children, and was for seventeen years the most effective woman member of the House of Commons. Remembered today for her long and successful campaign for children's allowances and for her brilliant contributions to feminist and economic thought, she also played a critical role in imperial policymaking and in the opposition to appeasement. The last decade of her life was given...
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Overview

Eleanor Rathbone cut her political teeth in the suffrage movement in Liverpool, spent two decades crafting social reforms for poor women and children, and was for seventeen years the most effective woman member of the House of Commons. Remembered today for her long and successful campaign for children's allowances and for her brilliant contributions to feminist and economic thought, she also played a critical role in imperial policymaking and in the opposition to appeasement. The last decade of her life was given to strenuous efforts to rescue Spanish republicans and Jews threatened by Hitler's rise to power.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
British suffragist, social scientist, and politician Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946) served in the House of Commons in a career that spanned both world wars. Perhaps best known for her advocacy for families and children, Rathbone insisted that women should receive pay for their work as wives and mothers in the form of what she called a family allowance. She was influential in various other women's issues throughout the British Empire and adamantly opposed appeasement during World War II. Pedersen (history, Columbia Univ.) draws on an impressive list of primary sources to provide a meticulous analysis of Rathbone's public and private lives. This is scholarly biography at its best, enriched by nuance and detail that bring to life the machinations of British politics and feminism in an age of imperialism and war. Even academic libraries owning Johanna Alberti's biography of Rathbone will want Pedersen's book for its significant contribution to British history and feminist thought. Linda V. Carlisle, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Eleanor Rathbone's Family Tree
Introduction: Lives Seen and Unseen 1
I Dilemmas of a Dutiful Daughter 7
1 Snares of Wealth and Virtue 9
2 Mothers and Mentors 28
3 Philosophy and Feminism 40
4 Her Father's Daughter 56
Coda: Emily Alone 72
II The Freedom of the City 75
5 Enter Miss Macadam 77
6 Must Mothers be Poor? 98
7 Claiming Citizenship 116
8 Time of Trial 139
Coda: Elsie Makes her Will 154
III A New Feminism in the Making 157
9 Choosing Elizabeth 159
10 What Future for Feminism? 176
11 Feuds about the Family 199
12 Most Independent Member 219
13 The Difference Empire Makes 241
Coda: Miss Rathbone has her Portrait Painted 265
IV A World to Save 269
14 Prophet without Honour 271
15 A War Worth Fighting 306
16 'Rescue the Perishing' 328
17 Miss Rathbone in Victory 359
Coda: The Lady Vanishes 375
App. 1 Principal Writings by Eleanor Rathbone, by date 379
App. 2 Municipal Election Results, Granby Ward, Liverpool 381
App. 3 Parliamentary Election Results, Combined English Universities, 1918-46 382
App. 4 Eleanor Rathbone's Major Parliamentary Speeches and Questions 384
App. 5: A Note on Sources 385
Notes 388
Index 450
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