SEMINAR - HYBRID EVENT: From ‘Political Wife’ to ‘Woman Politician’: Recovering British Women’s Political Work before Enfranchisement

  • Datum: –16.00
  • Plats: SCAS SCAS, Linnéanum, Thunbergssalen, Thunbergsvägen 2 Uppsala
  • Föreläsare: Susan Pedersen, Fellow, SCAS. Gouverneur Morris Professor of British History, Columbia University
  • Webbsida
  • Arrangör: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Kontaktperson: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Susan Pedersen, SCAS och Columbia University, talar på temat "From ‘Political Wife’ to ‘Woman Politician’: Recovering British Women’s Political Work before Enfranchisement". Seminariet hålls på engelska och följs av en frågestund.


This talk is essentially a précis of one thread of the book I am writing. That book, Balfours in Love and Trouble, is about two interlinked transformations: the shift from an aristocratic to a democratic political order, and the shift from marriage as a tool of dynastic alliance to marriage as personal and affective tie.  It recounts that shift, however, using collective biography, tracing the lives and marriages of two aristocratic women – Lady Frances Campbell, daughter of the Whig politician and Scottish magnate the 8th Duke of Argyll, and Lady Betty Lytton, daughter of the recent Viceroy of India Lord Lytton – who married younger brothers of the late Victorian Conservative politician and later Prime Minister Arthur Balfour.  

This talk explores these women’s political involvements, tracking their evolution from ”political wives,” working to aid their husbands’ careers and their families’ power, to political figures in their own right. Especially through the medium of the women’s suffrage movement, in which both played a leading part, Frances and Betty Balfour would cast their lot with democratic forces that would diminish the power of their families and class. This book is being written for a general audience, and the talk assumes little knowledge of nineteenth century British politics.

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