Exploring the causes and consequences of the divergence between those suffragists who wanted to prepare hearts and minds for a lasting peace to follow the war and those who just wanted to get on with defeating the enemy, this narrative reveals a new dimension of the campaign for the vote. The story resonates with present-day experience and invites discussion of the nature of true patriotism. Vivid personalities emerge on both sides of the division.
The story of the women of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies is seen here as lived in the context of war and politics; new evidence challenges accepted accounts at crucial points. The resurgence of conservative suffrage leadership is traced; but were the women who wanted to develop peace education as few as has been thought? What was the role of the Labour party in the compromise franchise achieved in 1918?
About the Author:
Jo Vellacott formerly Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
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