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Eleanor Rathbone

Eleanor Rathbone

February 1996 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book provides an accessible introduction to the life, work, and particularly the ideas of Eleanor Rathbone. A prominent figure in British politics, both as a suffragist and as a Member of Parliament, she is best known today as the leading proponent for the introduction of family allowances.

Johanna Alberti outlines and explores the development of Eleanor Rathbone's ideas presenting them in the political and intellectual context of her time - a period of major change for women. Beginning with a survey of Eleanor Rathbone's personal and ideological heritage, the text goes on to examine her move from philanthropy to political action, her ideas on suffrage, and her astute approach to questions of equality and difference. The book also considers the impetus behind her entry into parliament, the way she expressed and shaped her ideas within a parliamentary setting, her involvement in Indian affairs, and finally her passionate commitment to the cause of refugees.

The Public and the Private, 1909-19
Equality and Difference, 1912-29
Taking the Path to Power, 1924-
Speaking Truth to Power, 1929-39
The Indian Minotaur, 1927-41
A Passionate Patriot Fighting Fascism, 1930-45

`Alberti utilizes Rathbone's life and work to elucidate major historical debates concerning conflicting notions of feminism, British feminist involvement in maintaining colonial hegemony, and the relationship between women and patriotism' - Journal of Women's History

`Alberti's closing sentence is worth quoting: "As we move into the future, her tireless determination and her faith in the contribution which women can make to society are a welcome antidote to the discourses of cynicism and despair". I can't argue with that. Bravo to Eleanor Rathbone and to the accomplished interpreter of her ideas, Johanna Alberti!' - Women's Philosophy Review

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ISBN: 9780803988767
ISBN: 9780803988750