This book explores the pervasive influence of pacifism on Victorian feminism. It provides an account of Victorian women who campaigned for peace, and of the many feminists who incorporated pacifist ideas into their writing on women and gender. The book explores feminists' ideas about the role of women within the empire, their eligibility for citizenship, and their ability to act as moral guardians in public life. It shows that such ideas made use – in varying ways – of gendered understandings of the role of force and the relevance of arbitration and other pacifist strategies. The book examines the work of a wide range of individuals and organisations, from well-known feminists such as Lydia Becker, Josephine Butler and Millicent Garrett Fawcett to lesser-known figures such as the Quaker pacifists Ellen Robinson and Priscilla Peckover.
Within the historiography of pacifist feminism, there has been a general
reluctance to look further back than the First World War. The wide
range of literature on the Victorianwomen’s movement which has
been produced over the last twenty years has either neglected the fact
that many feminists were active in campaigns for international peace, or
has listed ‘peace’ as a women’s issue during the late nineteenth century
without offering any further analysis of how women were involved,
or what they did in this connection.1 The obvious exception
and internationalist interests. The Women’s Penny Paper exhibited a more ‘[l]ively and
uncompromising feminism’ than either the Review or the WSJ, and
Doughan and Sanchez have characterised it as ‘the most vigorous feminist
paper of its time’.3 It contained information and debates on a wide range
of feminist campaigns, as well as biographical interviews with leading
feminists, and constitutes an invaluable resource for the historian of the
Victorianwomen’s movement. The Woman’s Signal was likewise concerned with a much broader range of feminist topics than the
Literary Study of
Women in British Industries and Professions 1832–1850 (London: George
Nurses during the Anglo-Boer War
Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1966), p. 74; Dingwall et al., An Introduction to the
Social History of Nursing, p. 58; L. Pykett, ‘Portraits of the artist as a young
woman: representations of the female artist in the New Woman fiction
of the 1890s’, in N. D. Thompson (ed.), VictorianWomen Writers and the
Woman Question (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 144;
J. Hedgecock, The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature: The Danger and
made pacifist ideas fundamentally useful for feminism. Because both
theories could be based upon arguments about the (mis)use of power
and the importance of morality, and both could accommodate a wide
range of political perspectives, many feminists during the early phase of
the movement were attracted to pacifist rhetoric and principles.
As a prominent, but hitherto neglected, aspect of the Victorianwomen’s movement, it is important to understand why many feminists
employed peace arguments, often relying upon the construction of femininity as passive and even
international organisation could be imagined, it was limited in its impact upon feminism
in Britain. By the late 1890s it had been transformed from its origins as
a radical suffragist movement into a social reform organisation. As a
result, the internationalism that formed part of the feminist politics of
some Victorianwomen did not find a means for expression within the
ICW. It was restricted both by its internal dynamics and the logistical
problems of working internationally. However, despite its conservatism
and the emphasis that was placed on homogeneity, it did offer a
Women performers and the law in the ‘long’ Edwardian period
The Jersey Lily and Models of Nineteenth-century Fame’, in Su Holmes
and Diane Negra, eds, The Limelight and Under the Microsope: Forms and
Functions of Female Celebrity, London: Continuum, pp. 17–36.
Hoare, Philip (1997), Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, New York: Arcade Publishing.
Jupp, James (1923), The Gaiety Stage Door, London: Jonathan Cape.
Kettle, Michael (1977), Salome’s Last Veil: The Libel Case of the Century, London:
Loeb, Lori Anne (1994), Consuming Angels: Advertising and VictorianWomen,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Medd, Jodie (2002
London: Routledge, pp. 94–116.
Laver, James (1930), ‘Sphere of Books’, The Sphere, 12 April 1930, p. 82.
Laver, James (1952), ‘Gabrielle Enthoven’, in Studies in English Theatre History:
In Memory of Gabrielle Enthoven, O.B.E., First President of the Society for
Theatre Research, 1948–1950, London: Society for Theatre Research, pp. 1–9.
Lesley, Cole (1976), The Life of Noël Coward, London: Penguin.
Morley, Sheridan (1974), A Talent to Amuse: A Biography of Noël Coward,
Nash, George (1956), ‘Talk on the Gabrielle Enthoven Theatre
Victorianwomen remained mysterious to him, Hutchinson chose to use the vital capacity of men as standard for women rather than making separate studies. However, this was an unusual move to make in a medical milieu fascinated by the science of difference. Others soon called for representative studies to clarify the normal range of vital capacity in women. The influential statistician and eugenicist Francis Galton (discussed in Chapter 1 ), for instance, separated his anthropometric studies by sex, as in the 1883 Final Report of the Anthropometric Committee of the British
the ending of the novel is imagery of bondage, chillingly
domesticated and civilized’ (187).
Susan Meyer, Imperialism at Home: Race and
VictorianWomen’s Fiction (Ithaca, NY and London:
Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 98–9.