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Deeds not Words. The Lives of Suffragette Teachers

2012 April 18

deeds not words


Deeds not Words. The Lives of Suffragette Teachers Pluto Press, 1990

My second book was an account of the activity of women teachers in the women’s suffrage movement in Britain before the First World War and their lives within the National Union of Teachers and then the feminist union they formed, the National Union of Women Teachers, after the vote was won. It draws extensively on the archive of the National Union of Women Teachers in the Institute of Education (University of London) to analyse the way in which these women saw their own lives. It looks in particular at the lives of Agnes Dawson, who became a leading light in the Labour group of the LCC, Emily Phipps, later a barrister and one of the first women to stand for parliament, Theodora Bonwick a campaigner for sex education in schools and Ethel Froud, the first general secretary of the National Union of Women Teachers. I later wrote entries on them for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Summaries of my entries are available on other pages  and by clicking here on their names.  In particular it explores how these women thought about their own work and explained to themselves their activity. Arising from this book I then wrote various articles on suffrage autobiography and the way suffragettes as public historians created their own histories.

Now sadly out of print it can be picked up secondhand and cheaply. (It is in libraries too…)

Try Amazon

4 Responses Post a comment
  1. Michael Goulden permalink
    November 3, 2018

    ‘Now sadly out of print it can be picked up secondhand and cheaply.’

    I wish. Prices on Amazon start at £296!

    • Hilda Kean permalink
      November 5, 2018

      Yes Pluto Press considered that suffragette issues were different to their general frame of mind…
      However, four of the suffragette teachers I considered (with others) in the book are now in the free
      Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. See my descriptions there on Theodora Bonwick,Agnes Dawson, Ethel Froud,and Emily Phipps.

      If you are in London you might visit the Bishopsgate Institute which has a very interesting collection based around Agnes Dawson.

      Abe books sells a copy – but coming from the USA involves odd postage though not as mad as Amazon! You might also be in touch with Elizabeth Crawford who runs Women and her Sphere online and sells secondhand books.

  2. Michael Goulden permalink
    November 5, 2018

    Thank you for this reply. One of the booksellers on Amazon who I challenged now say it must have been a decimal point error – although the numbers contradict this explanation – and said they would offer it with one less nought.

    • Hilda Kean permalink
      November 7, 2018

      Thanks. An interesting account in today’s press about the poor situation of secondhand books – and their relationship with Amazon…

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