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Showing posts from February, 2019

‘A Reformer’s Wife ought to be a heroine’: Women in the London Corresponding Society

In The Butcher’s Block , the second Dan Foster Mystery, Bow Street Runner Dan Foster infiltrates a fictitious, extremist branch of the London Corresponding Society (LCS) in Southwark, London. The LCS was a radical eighteenth-century society dedicated to the reform of Parliament and the attaining of universal male suffrage. The group in The Butcher’s Block receives a letter from the Female Patriots, a women’s society based at 3 New Lane, Gainsford Street, Horsleydown. The women ask their “brothers and friends in liberty” if they might be allowed to join their society. Their request is scornfully rejected and the men swiftly move on to discuss their own business.    The scene was very much based on my own and other women’s experience of “first the revolution, then the women” – the way in which women involved in reforming organisations often find their concerns placed second to men’s. This is typically manifested in expectations about the division of labour. Suffrage campa