Philanthropy and the Construction of Victorian Women's Citizenship: Lady Frederick Cavendish and Miss Emma Cons
British social reformers Emma Cons (1838–1911) and Lucy Cavendish (1841–1924) broke new ground in their efforts to better the lot of the working poor in London: they hoped to transform these people’s lives through great art, music, high culture, and elite knowledge. Although they did not recognize it as such, their work was in many ways an affirmation and display of citizenship. This book uses Cons’s and Cavendish’s partnership and work as an illuminating point of departure for exploring the larger topic of women’s philanthropic campaigns in late Victorian and Edwardian society.
Andrea Geddes Poole demonstrates that, beginning in the late 1860s, a shift was occurring from an emphasis on charity as a private, personal act of women’s virtuous duty to public philanthropy as evidence of citizenly, civic participation. She shows that, through philanthropic works, women were able to construct a separate public sphere through which they could speak directly to each other about how to affect matters of significant public policy – decades before women were finally granted the right to vote.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 312 pages
- Illustrations: 5
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.4in
‘Poole’s book does a wonderful job of showing Victorian philanthropy not only as a forum for interactions between rich and poor, but also one in which the middle and upper classes could intermingle in an enlarging public sphere.’
American Historical Review February 2015
‘This is a highly enjoyable and absorbing account; its accessible style should lend its appeal to a wide constituency.’
Journal of British Studies vol 54:01:2015
“Andrea Geddes Poole’s book is clearly the result of extensive and meticulous primary research, and it contains much of interest for scholars of women’s history, the history of philanthropy and poverty, and late-Victorian social history.”
Vivienne Richmond, Department of History, Goldsmiths, University of London
Author InformationAndrea Geddes Poole is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain and of philanthropy to the arts. She is also the author of Stewards of the Nation’s Art: Contested Cultural Authority, 1890–1939.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations Acknowledgements
1 Lucy Cavendish
2 Circumventing the Bishops: Women's Philanthropy and the Church of England
3 Miss Emma Cons
4 Opera for Lambeth
5 The Citizens of Morley College
6 Philanthropy and Citizenship
Subjects and Courses