'Deeds and Words': The Woman's Press and the Politics of Print.

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    • Abstract:
      The political and constitutional impact of the early twentieth-century British women's suffrage movement has been the subject of extensive research since the advent of second-wave feminism, yet the broader cultural impact of the movement remains a developing scholarly area. Murray examines the role of the Woman's Press, the publishing house established in 1907 as a strategic component of the Pankhursts' influential Women's Social and Political Union. The press is located within multiple and interpenetrative analytical contexts: examined in turn are its role in the various power struggles of the WSPU and the broader British suffrage movement; its significance as an independent means of cultural production around the contested site of the suffragette; and its ambiguity as a feminist publishing house run by male pro-suffragist and lobbyist, Frederick Pethick Lawrence. The Woman's Press and its central London retail outlet figured prominently in WSPU administration as a material concern-as literature packing department, revenue raiser and recruiting centre. Yet, symbolically, the Woman's Press was also integral to the campaigning of the WSPU to an extent that has generally remained under-examined. As an independent publishing house the press constituted a vital conduit guaranteeing the entry of suffrage arguments into public discourse, and a crucial tool for appropriating and refashioning the contested image of the suffragette in the wider politico-cultural landscape of the day. Acknowledging the significance of the Woman's Press provides both a necessary historical context for the post-1970 feminist press boom, as well as a counterpoint to the ongoing political-financial conundrums that beset its modern descendents. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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