Mary Augusta Ward (Mrs Humphry) and the opposition to women's suffrage
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis
This essay begins to develop a critical and contextual framework to account for the importance that the writings of anti-suffragist novelists have often had for the women reader, and suggests ways in which their work may be usefully mined by historians and literary scholars interested in the history of the vote. The author analyses the tensions and contradictions in the work of the conservative writer and social reformer, Mary Augusta Ward and her role in the development of a constructive anti-suffragism designated as the 'forward policy'. Ward's representation of the suffragette in her novel, Delia Blanchflower (1915), is discussed. Concentrating on Ward's principled support for women and her reforming imagination, the article shows how she shared much in common with feminists of her day and suggests ways in which her writing may be mined by historians and literary scholars interested in the history of women's suffrage.
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