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Reading: Commitment and Class: Female Working-Class Activists in Three Suffragette Novels

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Commitment and Class: Female Working-Class Activists in Three Suffragette Novels

Author:

Ronald Paul

University of Gothenburg, SE
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Abstract

The article examines the relationship between social class and political commitment in three Suffragette novels written by women who were themselves actively engaged in the Women’s Social and Political Union. The novels are Elizabeth Robins’s The convert (1907), Gertrude Colmore’s Suffragette Sally (1911) and Constance Elizabeth Maud’s No surrender (1911). In these fictionalized depictions of Suffragette activism, I argue, it is the female working-class characters that support more politically uncompromising modes of action in the struggle for female emancipation. There is also a narrative progression throughout the three novels which, I claim, dramatizes the clash of personal loyalties and political commitment that reveals more clearly the fundamental contribution of working-class women in what has been previously viewed as a predominantly middle-class movement.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.604
How to Cite: Paul, R., 2020. Commitment and Class: Female Working-Class Activists in Three Suffragette Novels. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(4), pp.102–124. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.604
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Published on 22 Nov 2020.
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