Fifty years before the suffragettes fought to have the parliamentary vote, women in England were able to elect and be elected to local district councils, school boards and Poor Law boards. This pioneering study explores the world of those women who held office on behalf of other women, children, the old and the sick. They faced widespread hostility, but such was their success that in many cities and counties they were a stronger presence in 1900 than in 1975. Local
government offered that conjunction of "compulsory philanthropy", "municipal housekeeping" and local responsibility which made it a sphere suitable for women. Based on the records of some 20 towns and
10 rural districts, Ladies Elect describes and assesses their work in local government before 1914, and places it in the context of the general movement towards woman's emancipation.
`Review from previous edition Ladies Elect fills a major gap in the literature on Victorian and Edwardian women and is likely to remain the standard work on women in English local government.
`Ladies Elect is much more that just a factual historical account of women's participation in local government ... It enriches our knowledge of the difficulties that women faced as candidates, while at the same time broadening our perspective on the problems they encountered over education, the Poor Law and urban conditions.'
`a major contribution to the study of each of the subjects in her title, the history of women and the history of local government.'
English Historical Review
`While her book is very moving in places, particularly when describing in detail the work of women on local authorities, the author's approach remains scholarly and critical throughout ... an absorbing and rewarding read.'
1: Philanthropists, Electors, and Party Activists
2: The London School Board 1870-1904
3: English Provincial School Boards 1870-1903
4: The Election of Ladies 1875-1914
5: The Work of Women Guardians 1875-1914
WOMEN IN COUNCIL
6: Women and the Government of London 1888-1900
7: Rural Life and Local Government 1894-1914
8: Women and Town Councils 1907-1914
9: Council Work 1907-1914: A Suitable Job for a Woman?
10: Local Government and the Women's Movement