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Virginia WoolfAmbivalent Activist$
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Clara Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401920

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401920.001.0001

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Virginia Stephen and the People’s Suffrage Federation, 1910

Virginia Stephen and the People’s Suffrage Federation, 1910

(p.65) Chapter 2 Virginia Stephen and the People’s Suffrage Federation, 1910
Virginia Woolf

Clara Jones

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter revisits Virginia Stephen’s involvement in the suffrage campaign in 1910 and challenges the assumption that she volunteered with a women’s suffrage organisation, strengthening the case for her association with the People’s Suffrage Federation and casting new light on her status as an adult suffragist. With reference to contemporary suffrage newspapers and organisational archives, this chapter explores the PSF’s dual feminist/socialist agenda and reveals the contentious position it occupied within the suffrage movement. It closes by considering how Virginia Stephen’s early alliance with this group may have influenced the politics and aesthetics of her later fiction. Focusing on her 1919 novel Night and Day and The Years, published in 1937, Woolf’s adultist commitments are traced through her presentation of the suffrage campaign and its campaigners in these texts.

Keywords:   Adult suffrage, People’s Suffrage Federation, Night and Day, The Years, Feminist-socialism

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