‘The perfect equality of all persons before the law’: the Personal Rights Association and the discourse of civil rights in Britain, 1871–1885'

Wright, Maureen (2014) ‘The perfect equality of all persons before the law’: the Personal Rights Association and the discourse of civil rights in Britain, 1871–1885'. Women's History Review, 24 (1). pp. 72-95. ISSN 0961-2025

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Abstract

The Personal Rights Association was established in 1871 to watch, restrain and influence legislation ‘in matters affecting the personal rights and liberties of the people’. Though initially its remit was to scrutinise legislation for terms that would be prejudicial to women, this soon extended to criticism of increasing incursions into male freedom. The PRA's membership, which comprised both sexes, included a cohort of male parliamentarians and intellectuals who took their commitment to civil liberties into the heart of government. Classified by one critic as ‘fussy busy-bodies [and] fourth-rate politicians’, this article reveals a ‘feminisation’ of these elite men hardly considered in the rhetoric of the middle-class radical.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA10 British Empire. Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth
Divisions: Departments > History
Depositing User: Maureen Wright
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 13:47
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 16:06
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/1348

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