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The privileges of patriotism: national identity, nationalism and feminism in the Englishwoman’s review… Perry, Lara Ann 1994

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THE PRIVILEGES OF PATRIOTISM: NATIONAL IDENTITY, NATIONALISM ANDFEMINISM IN THE ENGLISHWOMAN’S REVIEW OF SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIALQUESTIONS, 1880-1889byLARA ANN PERRYB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FORTHE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of HistoryWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1994Lara Ann Perry, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of therequirements for an advanced degree at the University of BritishColumbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely availablefor reference and study. I further agree that permission forextensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may begranted by the head of my department or by his or herrepresentatives. It is understood that copying or publication ofthis thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without mywritten permission.Department of__________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Ic S1- qq4AbstractHistorians have recently begun to recognise the importance of gender andother ideologies in the formation of national identities. The “masculine” natureof national identity in nineteenth century England obstructs attempts byhistorians to describe a female nationalism; however, women did experiencethemselves as nationals despite the apparent conflict between national identityand “femininity.” The Englishwoman’s Review of Social and Industrial Questionswas a feminist periodical published by women who were articulate both aboutnationality and gender. Here, the 1 880s issues of the Review are interrogated fortheir understandings first of “Englishness”; then of “womanhood”; and then oftheir description of “Englishwomen.” The women represented in the Review hada powerful national identity which was constructed by a knitting together of theirunderstandings of Englishness and womanhood. Women’s activities wereviewed in terms of their national significance, and concepts of nation andnationality were articulated in a language of “feminine” interests. Theseunderstandings constituted significant departures from “dominant” discourses offemininity and the state. At the same time, the discourse of Englishwomanhoodproduced in the Review was conservative, inasmuch as it reproduced most of the“dominant” notions of Englishness current among the urban middle class. Theseliberal values had a considerable impact on the feminism recorded in the Review;this kind of feminism was (and is) profoundly shaped by its alliance to“Englishness.”The Privileges of Patriotism p. i ITable of ContentsAbstract iiTable of Contents I1Acknowledgement ivIntroduction Women and National Identityin Late Nineteenth Century England 1Chapter One Englishness 1 7Chapter Two Women 34Chapter Three The Englishwoman 48Conclusion Feminism and Nationalism 62Bibliography 70The Privileges of Patriotism p. IllAcknowledgementLike all works of scholarship, this thesis is the product of more than one“author.” It received contributions and guidance particularly from Professors joyDixon and Maureen Ryan, and from the students in the 1993/94 seminar courseFine Arts 539. The support and guidance of many of the faculty and graduatestudents in the Department of History, my friends and particularly my parentswere also essential to the direction and completion of this work. It owes toProfessor James Winter, who first introduced me to the pleasures ofcontemplating nineteenth century England, the fact that it was begun at all. Ihope that all of these contributors will take as much satisfaction as I do in this,the fruit of our labours.The Privileges of Patriotism p. iv’Introduction: Women and National Identity in Late Nineteenth CenturyEnglandIn one of the flagship journals of nineteenth century English feminism, thereviewer of a book on Balkan politics suggested that “Apart from [the book’s]literary interest, our attention is specially directed to the devotion and patriotismof the Greek women in the deliverance of their country from the intolerabletyranny of Turkey... it is worthy of consideration how, In the most enslaved, as wellas in the freest countries, the sentiment of patriotism is shared by both sexesalike, though, even among free nations the privileges of patriotism may bereserved for one sex alone.”1 Even in the remotest corner of its January 1887issue, the Englishwoman’s Review of Social and Industrial Questions picked outwomen’s relationship to national identity and nationalism as one of its centralconcerns. It posed a question worthy of our consideration still, less in the specificcontext of women’s demands for the privileges of citizenship (e.g. the vote), butbecause the relationship between gender and nationality which piqued the writersand readers of the Review is still little explored.The producers of the Review were centrally concerned with women’s activerelationships with the state and with the social body known as the nation.Powerful loyalties to the state and the nation significantly shaped the feministmovement represented in the Review yet little if any of this female nationalismhas been recognized in the literature on nineteenth century British nationalidentity, even by writers who are peculiarly concerned with the role constructedfor and by women within it. When Raphael Samuel wrote in his preface to1Review of the book titled The Growth of Freedom in the Balkan Peninsular;, The EnglishwomansReview of Social and Industrial Questions, V. 18, P. 30. Citations from this publication will hereafterinclude volume and page number only; all others will be otherwise identified.The Privileges of Patriotismp. 1Patriotism that “Ideologically, [women] were the objects rather than the subjectsof patriotism: those for whom wars were fought; those whom legislationprotected; those whom ‘the nation’ honoured precisely because of their exclusionfrom the public sphere,”2 he neatly summed up the role accorded to women,both by contemporaries and many historians, in nineteenth century Britishnationalism.Women’s absence from representations of nineteenth century British nationalidentity is the result of constraints placed both on historical actors and historiansby conflicts between nineteenth century discourses of femininity andnationalism. Femininity and national identity in the nineteenth century appear tobe mutually exclusive identifications, the characteristics attributed to onemarginalizing the characteristics of the other. Within the discourse of nineteenthcentury nationalism, women had a very limited role; conversely, within thenineteenth century discourse of femininity, the public and social life of the“nation” was excluded. As ideology, femininity and nationality rarely if ever met.Attempts to represent the “Englishwoman” of the nineteenth century have beendefeated in part by authors past and present seeking her out only in one or theother of the two discursive fields.The reproduction of nineteenth century gender ideology in twentieth centuryhistoriography has constructed a history of national identity from which womenare largely absent. A common way of characterising the thinking about genderroles in the nineteenth century has been (and was) to describe it as a world of“separate spheres.” in which social functions were ascribed by virtue of sex. Men2Raphael Samuel, Preface to Patriotism: the Making and Unmaking of British National Identity,Volume I, (London and New York: Routleclge, 1989): xiv.The Privileges of PatriotismP. 2were believed to be best at, and therefore have a duty to fulfil, one set of duties,women another. Women’s abilities were believed to lie in the domestic, personalor “private” sphere. Their charge was to furnish the home and hearth for thecomfort of the men and children who also resided there. Any activitiesconducted in the “public” sphere or relating to the common interest, includinggovernment, wage work, and even “private” business and legal matters, wereconsidered to be the rightful preserve of men. The divide between “public” and“private,” however, was not nearly so neat as the ideal of “separate spheres”made it out to be, and women were significantly involved in many matters of“public” importance, as men were involved in the “private.” Women’sparticipation in public life was constrained though by the desire or necessity oftheir interests appearing to be confined to family matters.3Contemporaries who held the doctrine of “separate spheres” frequentlyprofessed a belief that the two spheres were equally valuable. However, chargingwomen only with “domestic” duties excluded women from participatingofficially and fully in the important public institutions. The official absence ofwomen from public life in Britain during the nineteenth century had importantconsequences for the nature and formation of national identities during thatperiod. The nation is a peculiarly public entity, and developing a nationalidentity depends upon engaging in public life and understanding oneself as partof a “national” community. Gender ideology, which proscribed women’sparticipation in public life, worked to exclude women - or at least femininity -from the discourse of national identity.3see Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family Fortunes. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1987).The Privileges of Patriotism p. 3National identity in the nineteenth century thus appears to be a maleprerogative, produced and reproduced within a strictly male culture. Malenesswas equated with the personal qualities which, Linda Colley writes in Britons, werethought to characterize British culture,4 and established which persons mighteffectively engage in public life and national institutions. It was through nationalinstitutions, particularly Parliament, the Anglican church, and Oxford andCambridge, that English national identity was produced and reproduced in thelate nineteenth century.5 Those institutions enforced the doctrine of separatespheres, by admitting and serving the interests of a male constituency, and byreproducing a national identity which was associated with “male” qualities andabilities. Linda Mackay and Pat Thane, in their article on the Englishwoman 1880-1920, observe that “one of the distinctions between male and female was thatthe concept of nationality was almost always on the male side of the divide. “6 Itis particularly within nineteenth century English national identity, which wasconstructed in masculine institutions and traditions, that nationality appears to bea male prerogative.National identity was then very much shaped by gender, specifically by notionsof masculinity. This makes women’s national identity a problematic topic.Historians representing women’s national identity have sought to record the waysin which women might have perceived themselves as English mostly throughtheir own gendered roles, in essence have tried to establish a feminine version of4linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707 - 1837. (New Haven and London, Yale U. P.,1992): 252.5Philip Dodd, “Englishness and the Politkal Culture,” Robert Coils and Philip Dodd, eds.Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880 - 1920. (London and Sydney: Croom Helm, 1986): 1-28.6jane Mackay and Pat Thane, “The Englishwoman”, Englishness: Polltics arid Culture 1880 - 1920:191.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 4a masculine ideology. Much of the writing around Englishwomen’s nationalidentity has focussed on women’s gendered responsibilities in the moral andfamilial spheres, particularly as mothers.7 While these representations aresuccessful within their scope, their efforts to insert the “private” ideology offemininity into the “public” masculine ideology of nationality have generallyresulted in the construction of women as being outside or marginal to theprocess of producing and reproducing an English national identity.Because the masculine attributes of nationality tended to elide the discourse offemininity, the possibilities for putting a feminine face on national identity are(and were) limited. Linda Mackay and Pat Thane find that the Englishwoman ofthe 1 880s-1 920s “...remains a more shadowy figure than the Englishman”8 Witha few exceptions, such as the construction of motherhood as a nationalinstitution, and the Queen Caroline affair in the eighteenth century that drewwomen into the “public” sphere,9 the discourse of the feminine excluded womenfrom the public life in which a national identity was produced. Furthermore,peculiarly feminine characteristics were thought to be shared by women in allnations, and were therefore no foundation upon which to build a nationalidentity. The absence of a public role, the supposed transnational or essentialnature of femininity, and the attribution of nationality as a form of patrimony, allworked to exclude women from participating in national discourse. Mackay andThane find the conflict between the discourses of femininity and nationality so7see Anna Davin, “Imperialism and Motherhood”, History Workshop journal, 1978(5): 9-65;Mackay and Thane; and Linda Colley. Linda Colley’s is the most considerate handling of theissue of women’s gender and nationality; she does find however that women exercised theirpublic presence largely on ‘moral’ issues.8Mackay and Thane: 191.9Linda CoIley: 265-268.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 5powerful that they draw the conclusion that women were prevented fromestablishing any significant national identity. Within the nineteenth centurydiscourse of femininity, women’s national identity could only be insignificant andunfixed.The discourse of nationality elided the discourse of femininity, leaving theEnglishwoman a “shadowy figure.” This historiographical reading is, however,less a result of women’s lack of experience of a national identity than it is theconsequence of women’s national identity being difficult to recognize. Becausegender was so central to national discourse, women’s national identity wascertainly different from men’s; thoughtful exploration of how women’s genderaffected their national identity is required to describe its difference. The dilemmabears considerable resemblance to the problem of assessing women’s role incolonialism, and demands similar strategies for its resolution. Sara Mills describesthe problem in her study of nineteenth century European women’s travelliterature: “[women] cannot be said to speak from outside colonial discourse, buttheir relation to the dominant discourse is problematic because of its conflict withthe discourses of ‘femininity’, which were operating on them in equal, andsometimes stronger, measure.”10 The discourse of femininity likewise operatedon women’s national identity, and vice versa; the two fields converged to form adifferent discourse that incorporated elements of both, and challenged both.The convergence of two competing discourses did not produce an absence, a“shadowy figure,” but an Englishwoman who lived a sometimes contradictoryexperience of her femininity and her nationality. While nineteenth century10Sara Mills, Discourses of Difference. (London and New York: Routledge, 1991): 63.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 6femininity and national identity were not compatible as ideologies, as experiencesthey could be united within a single subject. Denise Riley’s insight that genderedor even sexed identities are not experienced by individuals in a continuous orstable manner11 provides an important reminder that even women whoconformed to contemporary notions of femininity could have experiences thatopposed their femininity. Recognizing that competing identities might bealternatively or simultaneously adopted by individuals and communities allowsthe historian a means of understanding nineteenth century national identityoutside of the terms of its own gendered discourse.Denise Riley has drawn attention to the temporal instability of gender identitieswithin individuals and communities. National identities are understood by someof its students in much the same way. Certainly the historical processes by whichnational identities are built are complex. Where earlier periods of scholarship onnationalism have attempted to construct a single feature - language, race,ethnicity, etc. - as the central feature of all nationalisms, none of these attemptsare now considered successful. The characteristics by which an individual mightbe recognized as a “national” are not historically stable, since a national identity iscontinually under reconstruction to allow for the adoption of new individualsunder new circumstances: that is, national identity is constantly in the process ofcomposing and recomposing itself.12 The variety of points at which an individualcan insert herself into the narrative of the nation are various - the individualcitizen has different relationships to the state, and perceives different relationships11Denise Riley, Am I That Name? Feminism and the Categoiy of ‘Women’ in Histoly. (Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press, 1988): 96-114.12Bhabi, Homi K. Introduction to Narratin9 the Nation, ed. HKBhaba; William Bloom, PersonalIdentity. National Identity and International Relations. (New York: Cambridge University Press,1990): 71.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 7with her “nation,” depending on her physical location, her class, her gender andher sexuality. Above all, national identity is understood as an unstable ideology.After Benedict Anderson,13 the national community is now commonly thoughtof as an imagined community, one whose boundaries are not easily mapped.The nature and contents of national identity - or, more precisely, nationalidentities - are intimately bound up with a wide variety of historicalcircumstances, and offer up a wonderfully bewildering array of faces if we areprepared to recognize them.14 Locating women’s national identity in thenineteenth century requires attention not only to the discourses of femininity andnationality, but to how they interacted with and informed each other, where theymet, converged, and resisted one another. To discover women’s national identitywe must seek out sites where the two discourses converged and were negotiated,where the instability of both allowed them to be reconciled, and where thatreconciliation is articulated. One of those sites is the 1 880s editions of thefeminist periodical publication the Englishwoman’s Review of Social and IndustrialQuestions.The 1 880s in England was a period of particular instability with respect both togender and national identities. In the latter decades of the nineteenth century13Benedid Anderson. Imagined Communities. (New York: Verso, 1991).14The problem of scholarship of ‘subjectivity’ in nationalism is fraught with the same difficulties asthe study of the subject in other areas. William Bloom, in Personal Identity, National Identity andInternational Relations uses social psychology’s identification theory to explore the identification ofindividual with state, but adopting this practice is subject to the general criticism thatpsychological theories are historically specific and inappropriate for historical analysis. In general Ihave been guided by Regenia Gagnier’s introductory chapter to Subjectivities: A Histoiy of Self-Representation in Great Britain. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), whichasserts that subjectivity is historically specific, and subjects are formed according to the discoursesworking to identify them at any particular moment.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 8the English state was reconstructing itself to accommodate the “NewImperialism” and pressures towards collectivization.15 The Reform Bills of 1832,1867 and 1884 had created an electorate novel both in its numbers and its kind,and parliamentary politics were readjusting themselves to accommodate newvoters by aligning party politics to class politics.16 A variety of pressures were atwork on the state that caused politicians, beginning in the 1880s, to reconstituteparliament’s relationship to, and construction of, the “social,” a reconstructionthat ultimately resulted in the welfare state legislation of the early twentiethcentury. As such, the 1 880s are regarded as a significant formative period in thehistory of English national identities, the echoes of which are being heard still.1?Part of the destabilisation and restabilization of the 1 880s-1 920s involvedchanges in women’s roles, as lived and as perceived. In the 1 880s women beganopenly to defy separate spheres ideology and marched prominently into thepublic sphere, as shoppers, workers, and political activists.18 The result of achanging economy, as well as demographic and other social pressures, women’sparticipation in these arenas issued a direct challenge to the construction offemininity, and caused considerable tension. Increased female participation in15Stuart 1-lall and Bill Schwarz. “State and Society, 1880 - 1930”, Crises in the British State 1880 -1930, Eds. Mary Langan and Bill Schwarz, (London and Dover: Hutchinson, in Association withthe Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1985): 7-32; Robert Calls, “Englishness and thePolitical Culture,” Englishness: 29-61.l6john Beichem, Class, Party and the Political System in Britain, 1867 - 1914. (Oxford and NewYork: Basil Blackwell, 1990).17Editor’s Preface to Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880 - 1920:18Dorothy Thompson, “Women, Work and Politics in Nineteenth-Century England: The Problemof Authority”, Jane Rendall, Editor. Equal or Different: Women’s Politics 1800-1914. (Oxford andNew York: Basil Blackwell, 1987): 57-249; judith R. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: Narrativesof Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London. Women in Culture and Society, Series Editor catharineR. Stimpson. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992); Martha Vicinus, Independent Women.(Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1985).The Privileges of Patriotism p. 9“public” life occasioned a variety of responses within English culture, includingthe production of notions of sexual danger for women in the cityl9 and thecreation of a generally disparaging stereotype of the “new” woman.2° Thesenew images resisted changes in women’s roles by ridiculing or threateningwomen in the public sphere, but also accommodated those women byacknowledging their presence. The attributes of “femininity” were in the processof being renegotiated.Some women actively and publicly campaigned for changes to women’s roles,women whom historians now commonly identify as “feminists.” DorothyThompson notes that one form of feminism was spawned by the process ofprofessionalisation, which, as it proceeded through the nineteenth century,excluded women from areas of activity that had previously been their domain.21Some women launched campaigns to retrieve offices that had customarily been afemale preserve, and became active in campaigning for women’s participation invarious levels of government, educational institutions, employment, and forlimited kinds of social change from the 1 850s on. Among the most prominent ofthese nineteenth century feminists were those of the Langham Place Circle, agroup of women friends who established offices at Langham Place in 1859, andwho played a significant role in liberal nineteenth century feminism.The premises in Langham Place, from which the Langham Place Circle derivedits name, eventually housed a variety of enterprises for the assistance of women,19Judith R. Waikowitz, City of Dreadful Delight.20See for example Patricia Marks, Bicycles, Bangs and Bloomers: The New Woman in the PopularPress. (Lexington: the University Press of Kentucky, 1990).21 Thompson, “Women, Work and Politics in Nineteenth-Century England: The Problemof Authority.”The Privileges of Patriotism p. 10including a reading room and the offices of the Society for the Promotion of theEmployment of Women. The original hub of the Langham Place wheel was theEnglishwoman’s journal, a publication founded in 1858 by the (soon-to-be)Langhamites under the editorship of Bessie Rayner Parkes and Matilda Hays. Areview-type monthly journal, it published articles on women’s work, and women’ssocial and political campaigns. The Englishwoman’s journal published only until1864, when it was incorporated into the Alexandra Magazine, which itself failed in1865. The true heir and longest lasting successor to the journal was theEnglishwoman’s Review of Social and Industrial Questions, a quarterly established in1866 by Langhamite Jessie Boucherett. The Englishwoman’s Review of Social andIndustrial Questions (hereafter also called the Review) recorded, in a bare bonesmanner dictated by its always precarious financial situation, the events, the trials,the successes and failures of English feminism from 1 866 until 191 0.22The Review articulated new roles for women and produced a discourse offemininity that was significantly, though not entirely, different from the onecoded in the ideal of separate spheres. The RevieWs representation of womenwas, like much of the contested representations of feminine roles during the1 880s, particularly concerned with women’s role in public life. The Reviewrepresented women in philanthropic, employment, and public administrationroles: as public beings making contributions to public life. Feminists’ concernwith women’s relationship to public life is evident in the most famous feminist22A good brief history and general description of the Englishwoman’s journal and Englishwoman’sReview can be found in Janet Horowitz Murray and Myra Stark’s Introduction to theEnglishwoman’s Review of Soda! and Industrial Questions: An Index compiled by Murray and AnnaK. Clark. See also Jane Rendall, “A Moral Engine? Feminism, Liberalism and the English Woman’sJournal”, Equal or Different, and Sheila Herstein, “The Langham Place Circle and FeministPeriodicals of the 1 860s,” Victorian Periodicals Review, 1993 26(1): 24-2 7.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 1 1interests of the 1 880s, the Campaign to Repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts andthe more general drive for public morality that followed the Pall Mall Gazette’sseries on London’s prostitution industry. These efforts were particularlyconcerned with women’s status in community life, and how it was regulated bypublic institutions. In raising these issues, activist women and women’s lives werecalled into the forbidden public sphere.Making women’s lives and roles a matter of “public” interest required adestabilisation of the discourse of the “feminine.” To accomplish this revisionthe Review frequently utilised the language of patriotism, or national identity.Whether the Review adopted the language of patriotism to support the aims oftheir feminism, or their feminism produced a self-consciousness of their politicalcitizenship,23 it is clear that the apparently incompatible discourses of nationalityand femininity were merged in its pages. The use of this language to discusswomen’s lives required the disruption and renegotiation both of notions offemininity and of citizenship. This negotiation, its trials, contradictions and itsproduct - a discourse of public femininity - are recorded in the Review. Because itused the language of patriotism as well as the language of femininity to representwomen, the Review is a site of conjunction, competition and reconciliation ofnineteenth century discourses of femininity and Englishness.Knitting together these two incompatible notions was not without itscomplications and contradictions. In her study of British national identity in thelate eighteenth century, Linda Colley notes that finding a suitable language for23Eric Hobsbawm suggests that ‘...the acquisition of national consciousness cannot be separatedfrom the acquisition of other forms of social and political consciousness during this period: theyall go together.” Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. (Cambridge: U.P.,1990): 1 30.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 12the representation of women’s engagement in the modern state was a virtuallyimpossible challenge, one which resulted in a relatively powerless version of‘citizenship’ for women.24 The 1 880s issues of the Review were considerablymore successful in reconciling female and national identities, although neithermight be easily recognizable as such within the discourses offemininity/nationality which were used to produce it. Ultimately the boundaries aspecifically female English national identity can be mapped in (or on) the pagesof the Review, a bright and shining substitute for the “shadowy” figure apparentlyproduced by the nineteenth century discourses of the feminine and the national.A composite of the variety of identities held by the producers of thepublication, the Review was one site where a representation of female Englishnesswas produced and recorded. Because the Review was more or less the officialvoice of nineteenth century liberal feminism, recording in detail the achievementsof the movement and publishing articles by many of its more prominent figures,the description of Englishness in the Review can be considered as representativeof the range of national identities amongst the supporters and activists whoformed this arm of the English feminist movement. We may also suppose thatthe Review conveyed a national identity to its readership,25which, though small,may have occasionally extended outside the circle of those who would havedescribed themselves as “for the woman’s cause.” As a site of production, theinfluence of the Review on notions of national identity may have been limited,but as a historical record it may represent a broader experience.24Colley, 266ff.25Berridge, Virgina. “Content Analysis and Historical Research on Newspaper&’, The Press andEnglish Society from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries. Michael Harris and Alan Lee, eds.,(London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1986), pp. 201-228.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 13The RevieWs Englishwoman was, after all, produced out of a more widely heldideology, and may have been similarly produced in other sites. The women whopublished the Review were unique in nineteenth century culture inasmuch as theytook a position from which to articulate political principles and ideology,including a national identity. Similar experiences of conflict and reconciliationbetween the discourses of femininity and nationality may have taken place withinindividuals and communities who have left other records or perhaps no records atall. Linda Colley describes the breadth of women who took opportunities toexpress their patriotism in the years of the American and French wars, andsuggests that female patriotism was limited more by lack of opportunity toexpress the feeling than a lack of feeling itself. Women, even those whose liveswere literally confined to hearth and home, had many experiences of public lifeand public administration with which to develop a sense of national identity. Inorder to grasp the full range of those identities, it is necessary to transcend ourtradition of defining the nation-state and everyday life as ontologically separatedomains.26 In the late nineteenth century, feminism and the Review providedwomen just one opportunity to articulate a national identity; as such, it isprobably only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.The RevieWs representation of the Englishwoman is traced here in an effort toreveal not only the specific nature of female Englishness in the 1 880s, but someof the more general properties and functions of national identities. “Englishness”was an identity which the producers and readers of the Review sought out, and26john Bornemari, Belonging in the Two Berlins: Kin, State, Nation. Cambridge Studies in Socialand Cultural Anthropology, eds. Ernest Geliner et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1992): 29.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 14which strongly informed their own identities and the ideals of their feministmovement. But as well as being articulate about what constitituted theEnglishwoman, the women who produced the Review were articulate about thedifficulties they had in establishing that identity, and in the process producedsome trenchant critiques of Englishness itself. The ways that national identityfunctioned within a movement for social change in the nineteenth century areexplored here in an effort to provide some direction for the analysis of its role inpresent social movements.The attributes of “Englishness” as they were described in the Review,predominantly those of the free-born liberal Englishman, are the subject of thefirst chapter. The second chapter explores the discourse of femininity orwomanhood that was produced in the Review, and how that discourse, which wasfounded on sexual rather than national difference, rubbed against the grain ofnational identities. The third chapter considers how the two competing identitiesof femininity and Englishness were knitted together to characterize the“Englishwoman”: the woman is represented with a supposedly masculine talentfor public administration, and the ‘public’ is constructed as a domain for femininetalents, in need of ‘national housekeeping’. The conclusion considers the relativesignificance of national discourse to the objectives of the Review as a feministjournal, and finds that it had a considerable impact on this branch of nineteenthcentury feminism and female identity.The nature and function of national identities is of particular significance inthis moment of national disintegration, regeneration, and reformation. Thenation-state is under attack from a variety of political forces that are operating inmost parts of the late-twentieth century world, and its intellectual foundations areThe Privileges of Patriotism p. 15Likewise being examined and pressured. The ways that nationalisms are illiberalor repressive has been the substance of many of the critiques of nations andnationalisms; but some authors wish also to recognise the positive or dignifyingeffects of an elusive and perhaps illusory ideal of citizenship.27 The double edgedsword of national identity, which both embraces and excludes, is evident in theefforts of the women who produced the Review to claim their national identity.27For examples of this considered idealism see Michael Ignatieff, “A Cosmopolitan Among theTrue Believers”, Harper’s, March 1988, 288(1 726): 1 7=21; lulia Kristeva, Nations and Nationalism.Translated by Leon S. Roudiez. European Perspectives, A Series in Social Philosphy and CulturalCriticism, Lawrence D. Kritzman and Richard Wolin, Eds. (New York: Columbia University Press,1993); Leah Greenfield, “Transcending the Nation’s Worth” Reconstructing Nations and States.The Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Daedalus) 1991 122(3): 47-62.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 1 6Chapter 1: EnglishnessFor a woman’s magazine of its period, The Englishwoman’s Review is a gravepublication. Where its contemporary, the Girls Own Paper, was heavdy illustratedand published bath fiction and non-fiction pieces in simple vocabulary and in anarrative form,2Gthe Review was unornamental in in style and content. Itrecorded in its unrelieved, unadorned text articles like “The Legal Status ofWomen in En-gland at the Present Time,” which seem- purposely-design-ed not toinspire any excesses of emotional enthusiasm-. The RevieWs stately expositoryessays addressed topics on- poll-tics, government, an-d the economy, givingconsidered 0-pinion- 0-n- points o-f general interest, and, it would have, -significance.It was earnest, ratlo-nal, a-nd--- devoted- to the- discussion an-d il-lu-rn-ma-tb-n- o-f“public” issues. y the standards o-f i-ts time the Review- was eminently- “English-.”The- style- and sub-stance o-f the- Review was developed i-n- the co-n-text of aculture of “fng-iishness” th-a-t dominated amongst the urban rniddie-class in the1880s. The women v--o supported, wrote- and edited the Review- were membersof t-h camrn-unity and oiit-ica-I- activists with-in it; the publicat-io-- that theyp-roducecf was largely- -shaped by its ideals. The Review both- mscrtbecl andresp-ondec-to the notions of “nglishness” that were current amongst itsproducers and readers. The farm- arid the content of -the Review-were built arounda discourse of ng4ish traditions o-f freedom, justice, and representative-government, a concep-tio-i--- of national- life that demanded and supported the aimsof the- libera4 fernin-ists who produced the publication-. It is this national- identity28TweekJy Women Peniy Pcsper used the same stiategy in- a different fermat, publishing profema1e. pro-suffrage- articles in- the- standard style- of i4kis-trat-ed newspapers.The PrMlege P-c’triotis p. 1-7that the Review subscribed to, and used to construct both itself and its readers as“English.”As a site for negotiating and administering the public or common interest, thestate was particularly significant in the national identity expressed in the Review.The state had two important functions within the discourse of national identityconstructed in the Review: one was to create the identity itself, i.e. to define theborders of Englishness; the other was to work as a focal point for that identity. Itwas primarily through government institutions, rather than religion, language orother aspects of culture, that the Review conceived the social collective namedEnglish. Other cultural discourses entered into the scope of Englishness as well,but at its centre was the “free” parliamentary tradition.This should not be an enormous surprise. Most studies of national identitypropose that nations do not make states and nationalisms but the other wayround.29 In other words, no one had a national identity until states existed. Formost Europeans a national identity followed the creation of a modern nation andconcept of citizenship, generally in the late eighteenth century. European uses ofthe word nation did not begin to absorb the connotations of cultural collectiveuntil the nineteenth century.3° Clearly, the English state had a formativeinfluence on Englishwomen’s sense of themselves inasmuch as it posed them asEnglishwomen. Citizenship, however limited in privilege and persistence(supposing it was lost upon marriage) was the necessary and given first elementof the Review’s imagination of an Englishwoman.295ee for example Eric Hobsbawm: 14-45.301-iobsbawm: 14-20.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 1 8While at the core of Review’s understanding of national identity, Englishcitizenship was not necessarily contiguous with the borders of Englishness. Thephysical boundaries of the English nation were, in the 1 880s various: they couldbe strictly English, encompass Great Britain only, include the English speakingcolonies or the entire Empire. This inconsistency of state boundaries wasreflected in the Review. Depending on the context, the Review wrote in aninclusive way about England, the separate nations of Great Britain, Great Britain ingeneral, and Greater Britain, which included the colonies. The British colonies,which were often given a section in the Foreign Notes and News part of themagazine, were of especial interest to the Review, but were not constructed as“English” or “British”. For instance, the colonies were included in an article titled“A Decade of Progress” which reported on the woman-positive events during thelast decade in all the countries of Great Britain and the Empire. While all thenations of the Empire were included, the words India, Canada and Australia were,unlike the words England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, denoted in italics.31Cultural distinctions, ultimately constructed as national distinctions, were madebetween Great Britain and the Empire, but not between the nations of GreatBritain.Englishness then was cultural, rather than political, and was understood by theReview to permeate all the nations of Great Britain. The Review was forced tomake distinctions between the nations of Great Britain because they weregoverned by different laws, customs and agencies, but this was not necessarilyconsidered to be a suitable state of affairs: writing about “Inequality of the Lawfor Women in Ireland,” the author suggests that “...surely all these petty31 V. 19: 337.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 19differences between the status of women in one part of the kingdom to thatwhich they occupy in another are anomalous.”32 Although the producers of theReview represented the nations of Great Britain as a legitimate unity,administrative variations necessitated a distinction between England and othernations in Great Britain.33 As a result, this London-centred enterprise identifieditself and its readers as English through its very title, and article titles and topicsassume an English rather than a British perspective unless otherwise specified.Though flexible, Englishness was not arbitrary. Englishness per se was likelyretained by the Review over the more encompassing identities because thepublication’s greatest concern was with legislation made by English Parliament.During the 1 880s the Review continually examined the relationships that womenhad with national law and public administration, as the objects of andparticipants in government. The range of legislation which they felt was ofconcern to women was wide, encompassing women in their roles as workers,parents, and citizens. Early in the 1 880s they were particularly concerned withlegislation that protected wives from physical and financial abuse by husbands,34and the discussion became more wide ranging as the decade progressed. In 1886the Review’s list of legislative acts which were beneficial to women included theGuardianship of Infants Acts, the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, theMarried Women’s Maintenance Act, the Shop Hours Regulation Act and the32V. 20: 208. See also V. 15: 49, “The Occupations of Women in England”, followed on p. 91by “The Occupations of Women in Ireland,” which explains the results for Ireland and Wales aregiven separately because published separately.331-iow administrative acts produce nationals is the subject of Benedict Anderson’s chapter titled“Map, Museum, Census,” Imagined Communities: 163-186.34”The Amenities of Married Life: Some Police Cases,” V. 11: 326-329;“Rights of Married Women,” V. 11: 520; “Monthly Digest of Decisions on Points of LawAffecting Women,” V. 12: 229.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 20Women’s Suffrage Bill.35 The Review recognised the significance of stateregulation to a wide range of women’s concerns in both their social and workinglives.This interest is a register of the Review’s conviction that the relationshipbetween women and the state was not accidental. These articles articulate apositive connection between women and the government under which theylived. This conviction was made explicit through their demands for the state tocontinue to protect women who married other nationals.36 In a number ofarticles the Review demanded that English women continue to be protected byEnglish laws despite the nationality of their spouses, a position which clearlyindicates that they did not believe their nationality to be arbitrary or unfixed.Despite their continued official exclusion from parliament, and the obstacles theyfaced in acquiring a place in local administration, women felt some kind ofsignificant attachment to their national government.This attachment meant that the Review’s attention to the legislative regulationof women’s lives was not simply a recognition that women were passivelyaffected by the state; through the 1 880s discussion of national government wasalso a call to action on behalf of women, and in their interests as citizens. “Themothers of England, Scotland and Ireland, after ages of oppression anddegradation, have asked no more than the recognition by law of their naturalrights arising out of their natural relation to their own children.”37 This call toaction was not limited to requests for legislation recognising women’s “natural35”The Chronicle of a Fruitful Year,” V.17: 528.36See V.11: 256; V.11:397; V. 16: 352.37”The Infants Bill,” V.1 5:1 47.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 21rights,” but also included demands for participation in the processes andinstitutions of the state, including elected local and national government as wellas institutions like universities38which were not explicitly part of the stateapparatus. The Review was unfailing in representing women as belonging to thenation and as having a place in its administration.The Review constructed women’s official exclusion from national governmentas an unjust denial of an already established identity. A neglected constituency,women were “half the nation that needs to be heard.”39 Women were not absentfrom national life, but their role went unrecognized because of theirdisenfranchised status. In “Ladies to the Rescue”40,an article on the elections of1 885, readers where exhorted to use whatever secondary influence on the resultsas was possible. The Review tried to draw attention to the work that women diddo in elections, either independently or as part of one of the political associationsfor women that were formed beginning in 1 884.41 In 1 880 the Review wrote thatwomen’s participation in the general election “has indubitably proved one thing;that women now look upon themselves as rightfully members of the body politic,as much as, or more than, the still disenfranchised working men in the counties38The Review took a great deal of interest in women’s educational opportunities, and in theRecord of Events section regularly reported exam results and the activities of women’s colleges.See “Women’s Suffrage - A Liberal View of the Situation,” V. 15: 347-359; “The GeneralElection”, V. 11: 145; V. 11: 345; V. 15: 350; and “The Eleventh Parlianment of Queen Victoria”,V. 17: 3.40”Ladies to the Rescue,” V. 16: 481.41The Primrose League, an arm of the Conservative party, was founded in 1884. It was initiallyintended for men only but rapidly developed a women’s organisation. The Women’s LiberalFederation was founded in 1 887. For adiscussion of feminists’ relationships to political parties,see Constance Rover, WomeWs Suffrage and Par>’ Politics in Britain, 1866-19 14, (Toronto:University of Toronto Press, 1967) pp. 106-67.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 22do.”42 The language of the Review not only reveals a female identification withthe nation state, but also insists upon women’s place within its structures.It was largely in discussion of national government that the Review constructedthe social body to which its producers and readers belonged. The femaleproducers of the Review asserted their right to participate in national government,despite their long and vehement exclusion from it, because they imaginedthemselves to be part of the community which it represented. The Review placedsignificant emphasis on elections as an expression of the “national will,”43 and itis clear that these women considered participation in elected government, thefreedom to join in the expression of a national will, an essential entitlement of thecitizenship in which they they shared. Participation in, and representation by, anational parliamentary system government was clearly part of their conception ofan English “national culture,” a culture which they insisted was in the possessionof the Englishwoman as well as the Englishman.The state, narrowly defined, is significant in the Review because it wasunderstood to represent the community within which the producers of theReview formed an important (national) identity. Approaching national identity asa simple relationship between the individual and the state apparatus neglects thewider range of foundations upon which the “imagined community” of the nationexists. “Imagined community” is a description used by Benedict Anderson toemphasize the role of individual self-identification with nation, and suggest theimportance of perceptions of shared culture in the formation of national identity.National identity embraces not only the individual’s relationship to the state, but42 11: 148.“The General Election,” V. 11: 145.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 23also her relationship to other nationals, relationships that might be based onreligion, race, and other elements of “culture.” It is because the citizens of anation have things in common (or not) that they regard their relationships withgovernment as legitimate (or not), and it is in relation to other nationals that thestandards of citizenship are defined. It is upon identifications with other nationalsthat “official nationalisms” - those constructed by governments - are built.Because these personal relationships exist at the foundations of national identity,citizenship has been able to transcend its status as a bureaucratic designation andbecome an object of human sentiment.By the 1 880s feminist campaigns for enfranchisement were focussed on thenational franchise, the municipal having already been granted to qualified femalehouseholders. The centrality of the national franchise to liberal feminism was inpart a recognition of the power located in parliament, but more a consequence ofmiddle class valuation of that form of political power. The national identityconstructed in the Review owes a great deal to more widely held notions ofEnglishness which were centred on ideals of English justice and freedom as theywere expressed in representative government. Adopting established notions ofEnglishness was probably in part a politically motivated move, made in an effortto keep charges of radicalism at bay. But it was surely also sincere, andrepresented the values held by the women who produced the Review and theirfamilies.45 Except in its feminism the politics of the Review were extremely44See Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities: 83-1 12; Eric Hobsbawm, Nations andNationalisms: 46-79.45For the effects of class among the Langhamites see Jane Rendall’s “A Moral Engine? Feminism,Liberalism and the English Woman’s journal.”The Privileges of Patriotism p. 24mainstream, and what are normally characterised as middle class understandingsof class and nation are reproduced in its pages.In earlier periods English national (and other) identities were constructedthrough comparison with another national culture. In The Rise of EnglishNationalism,46Gerard Newman suggests that English nationalism underwent apowerful shift during the time of the French Revolution, when revolutionaryFrenchness became the counterpoint to Englishness. Focussing instead on areligious rather than political thread, Linda Colley notes that Protestantism, bycontrast with continental catholicism, was understood as a central feature ofEnglishness during the period of her study in Britons. In both cases, Englishnesswas defined in opposition to aspects of French culture. While the Review printedits fair share of disparaging remarks about the French,48 in this much later periodof the 1 880s the Review defined Englishness less through comparison with ageographic “other” than through comparison to a temporal “other:” the nationwas understood to be a product not of geography but of history. References to acontinuous shared historical past provided a rationale for asserting shared valuesand culture, as well as an ideal for the nation’s organ isation. This ideal wasconstructed through notions of political tradition and historical progress,culminating in Parliament.In the Review. Englishness was drawn in terms of a Saxon tradition. There is aconsistent and emphatic interest in the Northern European nations, as well as46GeraId Newman, The Rise of English Nationalism: A Cultural History 1740-1830. (New York: St.Martin!s Press, 1987).47Linda Colley, Britons.48See, for example, “Compulsion,” V. 1 3: 451; and “Disabilities of Married Women in France,” V.14: 205.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 25Iceland. This may have been editor Caroline C.A. Bigg’s particular fetish: herobituary notes that she travelled to Northern Europe frequently in the summers,49but this may have been either cause or effect of the Review’s alliance withNorthern Europe. In any case for readers the connection drawn wasunquestionable, and must have been sufficiently coherent with other notions ofEnglishness to be tenable. These are represented as “sister nations” to Englandinasmuch as they were described as descended from the same ancestry as theEnglish.Iceland is the sole modern representation of our ownancestors...England, Norway, and Denmark have since that timemodified their language, acquired wealth and civilisation, and havechanged their customs; but Iceland remains in customs, in tradition,and, above all, in language, unchanged; showing us ourselves not aswe now are, but as we once were.5°Descriptions like these established a sense of ‘national tradition’ in the Review.The family tree was established in Scandinavia, reached its apogee in GreatBritain, and then branched out to the United States. Owing to a co-operative butalso vaguely competitive spirit between English and American feministmovements the family relationship between England and the United States isdescribed even more emphatically than those between England and any of itscolonies. It is however the Saxon and Nordic origins that were constructed assignificant to Englishness.The family relationship drawn between the nations of Northern Europe,England, and the United States entrenched Englishness in a particular culturalheritage, ascribing to it a unified and continuous historical background whichserved to distinguish Englishness in two ways. One result of this association49V. 20: 385.50”Proposed High School for Girls in Reykjavik,” V. 15: 289.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 26between Englishness and a Saxon ancestry is that Englishness in the Review wasentrenched in a physical appearance, the look of native Northern Europeans:white skinned, blond haired, blue eyed. We might perhaps include straighthaired, as the Review in one article adopted the metaphor “black and curly” todescribe emigrants who had lost their “Englishness.”51 The inclusion of a “racial”quality in a description of Englishness had the not unimportant effect ofdefinitively excluding from the legitimate nation anyone without this look, andconsequently focussing attention on national sexuality and the reproduction ofthe white English “race.” This attention to race had an enormous impact onwomen’s lives later in the nineteenth and through the twentieth century.52 Theimportance of whiteness to Englishness is suggested by the Review’s occasionallapse into adopting teutonic as well as Scandinavian traditions;53 in the periodunder study however, race was not constructed as a central influence oncharacter or civilisation. The Australian bushwoman and bushman were writtenabout as examples of a white, British descended, bad characters.54A more significant use of the concept of the “historical nation” during the1 880s was its role in the construction of a national culture or ethos. Thehistorical nation helped to constitute the rationale for the English nation, unique,independent of other states and legitimate in its government. It was thehistorically developed and developing culture which was understood to havetraditions, particularly political traditions, that the Review held up as an ideal to be51V 15: 108/09.52See Anna Davin, “Imperialism and Motherhood”; George L. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality.(New York: Howard Fertig, 1985); Andrew Parker, Mary Russo, Doris Sommer and Patricia Yaeger,eds. Nationalisms and Sexualities. (New York and London: Routledge, 1992).53V. 18: 242.54V. 20: 472.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 27met, a tradition to be honoured: “It is no slight praise to the English people that atall times in their history they have retained their Teutonic or Scandinaviantraditions, and recognised that sex forms no bar to royal rights of inheritance.”55It was particularly an inherited political culture which served to distinguishEnglishness and an ideal of national life in the Review and elsewhere.The conception of an English political tradition rooted in pre-Norman rule hadbeen established during the revolution of the seventeenth century. Claims to self-government in the seventeenth century were based on a demand for theoverthrow of the ‘Norman Yoke,’ supposedly imposed by the French-descendedaristocracy after 1 066.56 It had become significant again in the politics of thenineteenth century, particularly because it buttressed middle class or non-landedclaims to political power. Nineteenth century liberalism was founded on theconstruction of the free (Saxon) English. Robert Coils writes of this period that“[t]he peculiarities of this ‘English’ mind, or this ‘Anglo-Saxon mind’, centred onthe idea of the English as a free people... .Specific freedoms - free subjects, freespeech, free ideas, free religion, free contracts, free enterprise, free markets, freetrade - were the historic Liberal inducements of an ideal Englishness...The majorsite of that freeing process was Parliament.”57 The Review reproduced thisconstruction of English society, describing its advance through history towards aperfected liberal state.55V. 18: 24256See Christopher Hill, “The Norman Yoke,” Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation ofthe English Revolution of the 17th Centuiy, (London: Mercury Books, 1958): 50-1 22; RobertCoils, “Englishness and the Political Culture,” Englishness: 29-61.57Coils, “Englishness and the Political Culture,” Englishness: 31.The Privileges of Patriotism P. 28The producers of the Review explicitly subscribed to the gamut of freedomsenrolled by the nineteenth century English/Anglo-Saxon mind. The followingpassage touches upon nearly all of them:Centuries passed before the wisdom of leaving people alone tomanage their own business became at all understood even inEngland. About fifty years ago it did appear, however, thatmankind was getting wiser in this respect. The old monopoliesand trade restrictions were gradually removed; the ministers ofreligion had discovered that penalties and prosecutionsobscured instead of brightening her sacred flame. The Pressbecame freer, the right of public meeting became established,the Universities were thrown open unencumbered by tests. Onall sides it seemed as if Englishmen were beginning tounderstand the philosophy of letting everybody being [sic]healthy, happy or wise after his own fashion.58Not only was freedom from “compulsion” - the article’s title - in community orpublic life an ideal, it was an ideal toward which England in particular wasmoving. These were middle-class ambitions, and the Review represented libertyas a middle-class achievement: “about fifty years ago” was concurrent with theReform Bill of 1832 which began to enfranchise the middle class.The Review’s allegiance to middle-class political values is particularly evident intheir discussions of political economy. Asserting that “Free labour is as essentialan item to national prosperity as free trade,”59 they advocated Englishwomen’s,as well as Englishmen’s, right to sell their labour. The Review was so favourable tofree trade that they made a strange exception to their rigorously held pro-suffrageposition in memorializing M.P. and original Manchester Man John Bright, inwhose obituary they wrote that “One thing is certain, no Englishwoman loved orreverenced John Bright any less because he could not see his way to joining her to58\/ 13: 451 /52.59V. 11: 9 and 104/05; “Pitwomen’s Right of Labour,” V. 1 7: 49.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 29ask for her freedom.”60 If anything, the Review’s commitment to feminism wassubordinate to its liberal economics. The Review’s understanding of the nationaleconomy had a strong influence on its conception of the nation: one of thesignificant ways they represented the nation was as an economic unit, and theywere particularly concerned to represent women as part of that unit.61In all contexts, the Review adopted a solidly liberal stance. As Colts noted ofEnglishness in the 1 880s, parliament was the central site of that English liberalfreedom. The Review asserted that Englishwomen, no less than Englishmen, hada right to participate in parliament, and they mobilised the historical Englishfreedoms argument in favour of the female franchise. Almost annually theReview published an article which detailed women’s historical roles in Englishpolitics.62 These articles were an attempt to rewrite English political history ofvirtually every century to include women, and used historical claims to supportpresent ones: “the claim for a share in the sovereign power of the vote is inharmony with the noblest traditions of the past and with the spirit which ismultiplying the energies of the present, and with the hope for the permanenceand security of the social well being of the future.”63 The Review capitalized onexisting political ideology about historical English freedoms in order to establishtheir own claims to power. As it inserted women into the dominant political60 V. 20: 154.61This will be discussed further below. The significance of the construct of a national economyin national discourse has been sadly neglected, although Eric Hobsbawm and more particularlyErnest Geliner, in Nations and Nationalism. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983), assert the significanceof modern industrialized economies in the making of nation states.62See “Offices Held By Englishwomen,” V. 11: 10; “Women’s Rights in 1739,” V.12: 337-355;“The Legal Status of Women in England at the Present Time,” V. 14: 15; V. 16: 108; “Women’sWork in George Ill’s Reign,” V. 18: 108; and “An Association for the Study of LocalGovernment,” V. 18: 343.63”The Legal Status of Women in England at the Present Time,” V. 14: 15.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 30discourse, the Review reproduced that discourse, and aligned itself with classicalliberalism.The ideal of English historical freedoms was at the centre of virtually everyposition the Review advanced, but it was mobilised most frequently in discussionsof national life.We believe that the long apprenticeship that women have gonethrough before their just rights have been conceded to them willmake them value those rights too much to part willingly with themagain, and that they will feel it a duty incumbent on them totransmit to their children a national life even more free and healthfulthan they have themselves inherited. It would be a fatal day forEngland when women as well as men adopted the dogma, that ifvoluntary effort be good, compulsion must be better. (myemphasis)Particular freedoms were constructed as the foundation and necessity of anational life, not just personal lives. It was upon these supposedly historicalprinciples of English freedoms that a national identity was built in the Review, andat every possible opportunity, women were included in it.The producers of the Review established their own allegiance to a middle-classnational identity and politics through their unqualified support of liberalism. Theyalso sought to establish women’s eligibility for recognition in the public spherethrough negative associations, by drawing attention to the class distinctionsbetween women and certain enfranchised men. The lament usually went alongthe lines of the complaint that women were “unfit to be classed as fellow citizenswith miners, nawies, or ploughmen.”65 In reporting a story of a young womanwho defeated a prison break, the Review reminded readers that “[a]ll these men64from “Compulsion,” V. 13: 451.65V 16: 482.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 31have been, and most of them will soon again be, voters. But the woman whoguarded the jail is disenfranchised.”66 These kinds of outspoken remarks servedto dissociate “women” from the ranks of those whom middle-class readers wouldconsider undesirable voters or unworthy citizens.I have placed “women” in quotation marks to draw attention to the unusualuse of the term in its context. I have read it above to emphasize the dissociationof middle-class women from the run of unworthy citizens, but in practice thewriters for the Review did not self-consciously distinguish themselves as middle-class. Even in an obviously class-conscious and class-interested publication, theterm “women” was intended to imply all women, and the Review maintained aposition of solidarity with women of different classes, and even of different racesor nations. This solidarity did not necessarily imply equality: the Review wrote ofa women’s trades hall that it would give the “most legitimate form of help for thestruggling members of a class which must always command our sympathy, for itwill teach and enable them to help themselves, and to find strength and self-reliance in their own union.”67Whilst class difference remained significant in theReview, it was superceded by sexual solidarity. The construction of women as aclass created some difficulties for the producers of the Review in reproducingmiddle-class nationalist discourse. However strong their allegiance to theireconomic or social class and its nationalist rhetoric, the producers of the Reviewhad adopted another potent identity: that of “women.”In the Review, as in other sites of cultural production in England in the 1880s,the use of the term “women” remained an important identifier of difference,66\f 17: 48.67 V. 18: 293.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 32loaded with connotations of the physical and social which were used to excludewomen from the political and public.68 Clearly, the Review refused the discourseof femininity which relegated women to “private” actions and allegiances only,and placed itself square in the centre of the discourse on “public” life. But it didnot refuse all discourses of femininity. The writing in the Review did insist on thelegitimacy of “women” as a category, and the importance of maintaining femalesolidarity.69 This discourse of femininity (or, more accurately, of womanhood)interrupted a strictly national identification. Far from being able simply to step inand share the dominant English identity which they understood, supported, andreproduced, the writing in the Review negotiated between women’s claims toEnglishness and their identity as women.68See Denise Riley, Am I That Name?.69Sandra Stanley Holton, Feminism and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage and Reform Politics in Britain,1900 - 1918. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986): 21.The Privileges of PatriotIsm P. 33Chapter 2: WomenIf the design, interests and style of the Englishwoman’s Review were adopted inan effort to construct the publication and its readers as English, much of itscontents worked in relation to its role as a women’s magazine. The Review’sarticles were entirely devoted to accounts of women’s activities, or to feministanalysis. Its pages were filled with information about women’s lives; aboutwomen’s roles in philanthropic, government, and business enterprises; and withadvice to women seeking those positions. Not limited to English topics, asignificant portion of the Review was devoted to writing about women outsideGreat Britain. Each issue contained two or three feature articles which regularlytook women of other nations as topics. Some of these were very extensiveexaminations of the situation of women in individual countries.70 Feature articlesalso covered the lives of individual women, and foreign women were sometimesthe subject of these, as well as of shorter biographies and obituaries.71 Every issuecontained a section titled the “Record of Events” for domestic news items, as wellas a section on “Foreign Notes and News” which sometimes ran for severalpages. This internationalist interest in women constructed the publication andits readers in the context of a community of women, a community whichtranscended national boundaries.Denise Riley writes that by the nineteenth century women’s physicaldifferences from men were understood to make them very different beings.72 If70For example see “The Position of Women in Iceland,” V. 1 3: 317; “Swedish Laws for Women,”V. 11: 11 7; and “The Position of Women in America,” V. 14: 289-299.71 See “Princess Dora Dilstria,” V.11: 201; “Carla Serena,” V.15: 421; “Maria Weston Chapman,”V. 16: 399; “Olympia Morata,” V. 1 7:398; “In Memoriam, Madame Trelat,” V. 18: 60.72Denise Riley, Am! That Name?:1 8-43.The Privileges of Patriotism P. 34nineteenth century English feminists did not accept a hierarchical ordering of thesexes, or a strict segregation of their labour, they certainly did accept that genderdifference was biologically determined.73 Women of all nations and classes werethus understood to have something essential in common: the Review asserted in1 886 that “we have reason to believe that also here as in Sweden, firmness ofpurpose and independence of character, and a higher ideal of aims amongwomen, will raise a noble standard of domestic as of national life, and perfectinstead of diminishing “true womanhood.”74 As a biological condition,“womanhood” transcended socially constructed identities, including nationalidentity.Women, regardless of nationality, race or class were understood by the Reviewto share in certain qualities and ways of life. These attributes were understood tobe present, although sometimes undeveloped, in all women, regardless of race,religion or nation. The article on the Australian Bushwomen, which despaired oftheir life and manner, concluded with hopeful remarks about the progress of theirdaughters in achieving a more advanced condition.75 A few articles madecomparisons between women based on general personality or outlook, such asthe one which explored the common ground between the Russian and English“Jolly Girl.” The comparison was vague: “they both have their origin in acommon idea, they are both children of their age, they have both...the same endin view.”76 These assertions lacked substance, but described mutual intereststhrough which an essentially female character was constructed.73Sandra Stanley Holton, Feminism and Democracy: 1 3.74V. 15: 317.75V. 20: 473.76V.13: 247.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 35The discourse of womanhood in the Review drew on dominant notions offemininity in some respects, and challenged them in others. Contemporarydiscourses of femininity represented women as caregivers and able to understandand sympathise with “other” people;77 this principle both shaped the RevieWsrepresentation of women’s characters, and fostered its understanding of womenas a transnational community. The Review’s representation of womanhood wasparticularly focussed on caregiving in various forms; however, it was as caregiversoutside the family, as co-ordinators or administrators, that most interested theReview.The Review departed from conventional notions of femininity in itsconcentration on women’s functions outside the family. It was in their roles aswaged or salaried workers in the money economy, and as volunteer labourers inthe social economy, that women were represented in the Review. Alwayshardworking, women exerted themselves in all occupations, whether wagedlabour, unpaid domestic employment or elite philanthropic work. In an articletitled “Not What I have but What I do is my Kingdom,” Harriet Stanton B latchexpressed what seems to have been a generally held editorial opinion, remarkingthat “we women suffer, like our brothers, from innate laziness,” but “The womanwho sits with folded hands should blush to receive the least of things.”78 Thisidealization of labour and occupation seems to have had its roots in middle-class77Sara Mills, Discourses of Difference: 96197. Patrick Williams, in “Colonial Literature and theNotion of Britishness”, Literature, Teaching, Politics 5 (1986):94, identifies this kind of thinking aspart of imperial discourse.78V 16: 200.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 36religious self-discipline, but was held up in the Review as an ideal for all laboursand all women.The Langham Place offices housed, among other enterprises, the Society forPromoting the Employment for Women, an organisation which was formed in1859 to find paid employment for middle-class women. Women’s paidemployment remained a significant preoccupation of the women’s movementthrough the 1 880s.79 The Review regularly published articles on potential paidemployments for women, which ranged from work as tourist guides to fruitfarmers to library assistants. The Review even claimed that “dairy-work is rising tohigher level of skilled work, and a new value and dignity accruing to the ancientoccupation of dairymaid.”8°One article even used historical examples fromMayan to Roman cultures to argue that women had an “instinct” formanufacture, and to suggest that women “join together and raise theiramusement to the dignity of a manufacture, confessing occupation anddisposing of their goods.”81 Most of these occupations were suggested aspossible paid employments for women living in genteel poverty, a conditionwhose misery is not to be underestimated, and one which the Society for thePromotion of the Employment of Women and the Review genuinely sought toameliorate.But the Review also accorded legitimacy to the occupations and work of whatthey termed the “labouring classes.” While nineteenth century feminists did notA. James Hammerton, “Feminism and Female Emigration”, A Widening Sphere, Ed. MarthaVicinus, (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1977), pp. 52-71.80”Dairy Schools,” V. 20: 546.”Women As Manufacturers,” V. 20: 352.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 37necessarily engage in the kind of political advocacy that women of the workingclasses would have benefitted from the most, liberal feminists did respectworking class women’s employment and were advocates for women’s rights towaged work. The Review’s reports of census findings always included womenworking in waged and labouring occupations, and an article titled “The Work ofWomen in London’s East End” detailed at length the occupations, wages, andworking conditions of those women. In Ireland as in England, the Review noted,women’s economic contributions were not recognized, “the great bulk of thebeautiful work for which Irish girls are so justly famous being probably made bythe classes styled [in the census] non-productive, which here as in the Englishcensus include all the married women and daughters living at home.”82Because wage earning was a central concern of English feminists, as feministsand as members of English families involved in business, the Review tookconsiderable interest in the work of women in other nations. Women’s inventionsand manufacturing work from around the world (but particularly from the UnitedStates) were noted as evidence of economic accomplishment, and set as modelsfor Englishwomen. An article on the Women’s Industries Exhibition in Bristolclaimed that “we are convinced that this collection of women’s work will result inits steady development...English women only need to be shown the way toproduce profitably many articles manufactured in foreign countries.”83 Thisinterest extended to women’s employment in the professions, particularly in theUnited States where women worked more frequently as lawyers and physicians.While there is no suggestion of a women’s international economy, the Review82”occupations of Women in Ireland,” V. 15: 98.83See V. 16: 104/05 and “Recent Inventions of Women,” V. 16: 9-1 1.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 38certainly was prepared to draw comparisons between women’s work activitiesacross national borders.The Review had a related interest in women’s philanthropic movements.Philanthropic activity was one of the few kinds of labour in which middle-classEnglish women were encouraged to participate, and women’s abilities andactivities in philanthropic work was central to the Review’s construction ofwomen. From the Sanitary Commission that was active in medical work duringthe American Civil War to the “Liberes of St. Lazare” (French prisonsuperintendents) the Review reported on the philanthropic work being performedby women in other nations, as well as by women in its own. Similar to itsreportage on waged work, the RevieWs investigation of these industries was oftenused to encourage the work of Englishwomen in similar areas: it was suggested ofprison work that it was “a post which needs the patience, tact and Christianity ofwomen extremely, and which they ought to undertake.”84 Whether English,French or American, women had, by virtue of their womanhood, an interest inand competence for philanthropy.Like privately organized philanthropic work, public administration wasregarded as a suitable outlet for womanly impulses to caregiving. In “Help for theChildren,” the post of Poor Law Guardian was claimed to be the “most womanlyof all duties.”85 In a later volume, the Review asked its readers to “bear in mindthat the larger part of poor-law administration consists in [what is] rightlyconsidered to be specially women’s work.”86 What was sometimes constructed84V.15: 109-11.85”HeIp for the ChUdren,” V. 12: 154.86”Women as Poor Law Guardians,” V. 15: 11 3.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 39as “women’s abilities” and sometimes as “women’s experience” was regarded bythe Review as special qualification for certain kinds of public administration, andinvolvement in political culture. The Review noted that, as in England, women inother nations were politically active. “In medieval and still more in modern life,women take an active part in all political agitations, and represent every phase ofpolitical opinion. Absolutist or Nihilist in Russia, Democrat or Republican inAmerica, Bonapartist or Legitimist in France, Conservative or Liberal inEngland.”87These various positions were constructed as comparable bygeneralizing them under the rubric of women engaging in politics. It wasregularly pointed out in the Review that women throughout the world wereengaging in movements to participate more fully in government and education.It was those women, English or otherwise, who worked for the public benefitthat exemplified what was best in the female character. The Review reported thatthe history of the American Sanitary Commission, which organised hospital andother care during the American Civil War, afforded “the strongest possible proofof the organising, i.e. the political faculty possessed by women, and in which wehave no reason to suppose English women are inferior to American.”88 Women’swork for the public interest was also central in the RevieWs descriptions ofindividual women: Madame Trelat was recorded as “an enlightened and devotedworker for the best interests of women, and possessed of great administrativeability”;89 of Miss Willard (of the Women’s Sanitary Association) it wrote “howdeep a debt, not only the U.S. but all English-speaking nations, owe to MissWillard, for her unparalleled self-devotion, her tireless energy, her happy87V.12: 130.88”Records of the Sanitary Commission,” V. 16: 487.89\f 18: 60.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 40inspirations and her rare talent for government.”90 Many of these descriptionsinclude some reference to or assertion of the ways that the work of individualsbenefitted women across national boundaries.In its role as a woman’s publication, The Review located difference in gender,not nationality. This served to disrupt national groupings by alienating womenfrom men within national communities.91 As well as a “natural” condition,womanhood was understood in the Review as a political category: a rationale forthe marginalisation of women by men, and, for feminists, a category forrehabilitation. Like womanhood as a “natural” condition, womanhood as apolitical condition was understood by the Review to transcend nationality: itinsisted that women’s marginalisation crossed political, cultural and nationalboundaries. Solutions to women’s political marginalisation were also understoodto be found in international action. This construction of women’s role challengeda national identity by emphasising inequality between men and women withinnations, and set women in opposition to men despite any common heritage. Thediscourse of womanhood in the Review not only dismantled old borders, butcreated new ones.In its numerous articles on “The Position of Women in (A Country),” theReview was particularly interested in comparing the political and social status ofwomen in England to those of women in other nations. This comparisondeveloped into a description of “women’s conditions” which did not observenational difference. Women in the “civilised” nations of Northern Europe and the90V.17: 398.91 Sandra Stanley Holton, Feminism and Democracy: 21.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 41United States had lives most similar to those of women in England,92 butwherevEr they looked, the Review found women politically, economically, andsocially subordinated to men. Making these comparisons allowed the Review toassert, for example, that “...most countries [have] limited or assigned bypreference the office of ruler to men,”93 or that “...the working women of Italy...are to the full as badly paid and even more overworked than their Londonsisters.”94 The Review’s reportage encouraged its readers to understand that amarginalised “women’s condition” was a transnational, rather than a nationallyparticular, phenomenon.The comparisons that the Review was able to draw between women’s lives androles across national borders fuelled the liberal feminist conviction that theirpolitical campaign benefitted from internationalism. The impulse tophilanthropy was understood to apply especially to cases where women in onecountry could help those in another, and the campaign to train womenphysicians to practice in India received fervent praise.95 Insisting that “Woman’scause is always woman’s cause, in whatsoever country,”96 the Review reported onwomen’s movements in other nations as significant for their own work. Itgenerally included advances in women’s status in other countries as well as92see “Our Scandinavian Sisters,” V. 17: 150-157 or the review of American author M.Livermore’s What Shall We Do With Our Daughters ,which constructs American and Englishwomen’s problems as similar, V. 15: 21393V. 17: 391.94V. 15: 155.95See a “Foreign Notes and News” report on American women establishing women physicians inChina, V. 16: 96, and “Medical women for India,”V. 16: 145-58.96V. 11: 484.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 42England in its annual December reviews of the year’s events.97 During the 1880sseveral feature articles on women’s movements in other nations appeared.98 Theoccasional international meetings of feminists and women’s organisationsreceived extensive reportage, especially the International Women’s Council heldin the United States in 1 888. The Review wrote: “[sjuch interchanges of thoughtand knowledge between women of different nationalities are... eminentlycalculated to strengthen the position of women as the servants of Humanity, andto raise their social and political status throughout the world.”100 All of thesearticles worked to identify the “cause” of “women” as a common one, one whichtranscended national boundaries.This discourse of womanhood in the Review obstructed its discourse ofnationality inasmuch as it constructed women in different nations as having toconfront the same barriers. “We may all cordially agree ...That woman has notenjoyed the protection in the laws, not accorded the full measure of her justrights, in any land, not excepting even this free England of ours.”101 The politicaland economic subordination of women was not understood as peculiar to anyparticular national culture: these were problems faced by women of all nations.Not only did the Review understand all women to be facing these barriers by97See for example “A Christmas Carol for 1882,” V.13: 529-537; or “Looking Back on 1884,” V.15: 539/540.98See for example “History of the Women’s Movement in France,” V. 15: 198; “NorwegianWoman’s Union,” V. 16:7-9; “The Present Condition of the Women’s Movement in Finland,” V.18: 481; and “A New Society for Women in Denmark,” V. 16: 346-49.991n V. 19 (1888) The International Women’s Councilreceived a lot of reportage: on p. 96 in “Foreign Notes and News”; p. 137 gives the Programmeof the Council; pp. 193-209 make a long report, of the proceedings. See also “The Congress ofWomen’s Societies at Paris,” V. 20: 240.1°0V. 20: 242.101V. 11: 399.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 43virtue of their womanhood, but they also understood that it was throughcollective action as women, despite national difference, that women’smarginalisation was to be opposed. While national culture might make adifference in the degrees of women’s position, all over the world women’s liveswere lived in a particular manner because they were women. Womanhood as acondition transcended nationality as a condition, and the Review constitutedwomen as a political community that had no national boundaries.Ultimately, however, the Review’s discussions of an essential community ofwomen were influenced by discourses of cultural difference. This was expressedmainly in terms of a difference based on “national character.” Given the carewith which the producers of the Review developed their own national identity, itmakes sense that their understanding of national identity and national characterplays a role in their discussions of women and the women’s movement. Thepossibility of a general discussion of “women” was implicitly or explicitlyassumed, but the generality of the discussion was always undermined by anational notation: the women of France, the women of Iceland, etc. Thesenational identifiers were understood to imply cultural or traditional difference inthe same way that “English” implied, for the Review, a certain set of political,moral, and social conventions. English women, as represented in the Review,were expected to live in ways that conformed to “English” conventions, andwomen in other nations were expected to live in ways that conformed to theirs.These differences, which shaped women’s character’s as well as men’s, in turndisrupted the discourse of an essential identity for women.The Review apparently greatly admired the American woman’s movement, butdifferences between American and English political culture and socialThe Privileges of Patriotism p. 44organisation, were often pointed up in their reportage. In an article thatenthusiastically praised the American women’s movement the Review noted that“We have no reason to be discontented with our more exclusive methods ofaction here, which possibly may be better suited to our nationaltemperament.. .which is subject to the greater complexities of divisions of rank ineducation and occupation.”102 This distinction sometimes became competitive,and on more than one occasion the Review was at some pains to demonstrate thesuperiority of English political culture, suggesting that while “Much has beenwritten to discredit the English government of our colonies.., we may perhaps,take some credit to ourselves by reflecting that under it American women, at allevents, possessed a larger share of constitutional privileges than they have sincebeen accorded by their own countrymen.”103This competitiveness was perhaps areaction to the rash of praise for American feminists that had appeared in theReview, but demonstrates a real self-consciousness of national difference.France received similar treatment in the Review, although reportage on itswomen and women’s movement was less extensive. The Review was careful tonote differences between French and English political culture: “There are manypoints in English law in which the position of women is vastly superior to that ofFrenchwomen... on the other hand there are some in which we might take usefulhints from them.”104 The distinction was usually made in a friendly way, but aswith America the Review sometimes turned competitive with France. Its article on“The Recent Decision Upon Municipal Suffrage in France” found that “The termsof the decision afford proof first, of the inferior degree of liberty which women102”A Woman’s Organisation,” V. 1 7: 391 -398.03”The Early History of Women Voters In America,” V. 20: 14 -17 p. 15;104\f 20: 242.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 45enjoy under a definite code, such as the Code Napoleon, as compared with thepossible freedom under the more elastic nature of our common law.”105 Despitethe similarities the Review constructed between “women,” their circumstanceswere recognized to vary considerably.The Review’s comments on the U.S. and France emphasised the differencesbetween national culture, rather than differences between women. But theReview was more personal in cases where the national other was also a racial orreligious “other”: a lengthy article on “Women’s Condition in Egypt,”106 whichspecifically addressed the question of whether life was better for English orEgyptian women, commented in considerable detail both on the religion and raceof the Egyptians, and found them definitely distinct from English race andreligion. As a result, the women were likewise described as different: the articlecharacterises Egyptian women as “usually vain, selfish, and empty-minded, andwith cold affections.” The reader was certainly left with a poor impression bothof Egyptian women and Egyptian society, which were, by the Review’s standardsof womanhood, wanting.But if Egyptian women were found to be wanting, it was not because they werepersonally deficient. “The grand difference between the English and the Egyptianwoman,” the author concludes, “is that in England woman is an acknowledgedhelpmeet to man as the Almighty intended and in Egypt she is not.”107 Thisstatement displaces the burden of responsibility for Egyptian women’sinadequacies from the women themselves onto their national culture. The1°5V. 16: 107.1O6\f 15: 395-412.107V. 15: 411.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 46producers of the Review seem to have been asserting that although womenthemselves might be similar beings world-wide, their lives did not necessarilyreflect that similarity because of the national cultures in which they lived. Theattention paid by the Review to the social and political “position of women” inregulating women’s lives and personalities, suggests how significant theybelieved national culture to be in shaping the lives of citizens, despite anyinherent biological characteristics they possessed.The author who wrote “In whatever form oppression appears, the sameprinciples lead us to resist it. Our field is now a wider one, unlimited as tocountry, race or colour”108 was probably expressing a genuinely held conviction.But this conviction was interrupted by a sincere and potent sense of nationalidentity. The Review’s discussion of the “women” was constantly undercut byreferences to nationality and the qualities which were understood to compose it.Some of these references were necessitated by context, for instance in articleswhich required explanation of national laws or legal practices (especially inwriting about women from the various nations of Great Britain). Other referencesto national culture were made because the Review wanted to identify what theyconsidered a substantial difference in character between the women of variousnations, which were attributed to the influence of national custom. In all cases,the identification of women as part of a nationality worked to defeat the notion ofa transnational class of “women,” and referred the readers of the Review back tothe Englishwoman’s Englishness.108From an article titled the “Ladies Negro Friend Society,” V. 11: 348.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 47Chapter 3: The EnglishwomanThe Review was decidedly a women’s publication, reporting almost exclusivelyon women’s lives and interests for a female audience. It chose to do so, however,in a format that rubbed against the grain of contemporary feminine culture. TheEnglishwoman’s Review was only one of tens of reviews circulating in the 1 880s.While review magazines had begun in the 1830s by publishing actual bookreviews, by thel 850s they were almost completely composed of learnedexpository essays on current topics. Reviews had the role of instructing a smallbut significant and intellectually uncertain audience - the recently enfranchisedclasses - in current affairs.109 Reviews often took a blatantly sectarian position,and the Englishwoman’s Review was clearly meant to offer a feministinterpretation of current affairs just as the Westminster Review offered utilitarianones. As such, the reviews were part of the public sphere of rational discourse onpolitics and public affairs. Bringing women’s topics and feminist perspectivesinto this community constituted a significant challenge to contemporarydiscourses of the public and of femininity.The women who produced the Review were specifically seeking to have issuescentral to women’s lives addressed in the arena of public discourse. Publishing areview magazine, (which the Langham place circle persisted in more or lesscontinuously from 1855 to 1910 despite constant financial problems) was aneffective way of pressing into an arena that had hitherto been closed to women.But it also limited the ways that the Review could represent women’s lives. The‘09See Walter E. Houghton, “Periodical Literature and the Articulate Classes” Shattock, Joanneand Michael Wolff, eds. The Victorian Periodical Press: Samplings and Soundings. (Leicester andToronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987): 3-27.The Privileges of Patriotism P. 48Review format allowed for a narrow range of learned, non-fictional writing whichallowed the writers and editors of the Review very few opportunities to representwomen in roles or with characters they did not already possess in civil life. On therare occasions when an issue included fiction genres, women were represented inways that departed considerably both from women’s “real” lives and thosenormally represented in the Review. The poem “Men’s Rights”11°had a femaleparliament debating and defeating a motion to include the men in the legislativeprocess. The choice of a Review as a vehicle to publicise the aims and activities offeminists, while it accorded the movement a degree of cultural legitimacy, alsolimited the ways that the producers could imagine and represent women’s livesand contributions.On the other hand, writing about individuals opened a space in which theReview could construct the “Englishwoman.” The very meanings of the two partsof the word - English and woman - were mutually exclusive and difficult in theconceptual currency of the time to rework into a coherent and meaningful union.In life, however, one individual could adopt either identity, could live both thoseexperiences through time. A woman could display her Englishness in one activityor period, her womanliness in another, and sometimes enact both identitiessimultaneously. The various forms of biography in the Review provided modelsboth for an ideal lived experience, and an opportunity for creating a coherentconceptualization of an image which was otherwise very nearly nonsensical.11110V. 16: 477. This poem was reprinted from an American feminist journal.1Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger is a Lacanian psychoanalyst attempting to theorize a space inwhich the division between “self” and “other” is incomplete, and the two are interdependent andcoherent. In her article, “Matrix and Metamorphosis”, Differences, 1992 4(3): 1 76-208, sheworks with image of the pregnant female and the foetus to represent the non-competitive coexistence of mutually exclusive identities. It seems to me that the Review was attempting thesame kind of conceptual feat in establishing a meangfuli notion of the “Englishwoman.” TheThe Privileges of Patriotism p. 49There is a great deal of writing about women as a group in the Review, but in theend its writers tended (like historians) to resort to specific examples for theirillustrations of the “Englishwoman’s” virtue.Constructing an image of an “Englishwoman” required careful negotiationbetween the discourses of womanhood and Englishness that were mobilized inthe Review. The Review found its way through the contradictions between thesetwo identities - public speaker and private caregiver - by moving the role ofwomen as it was constructed within the family into the sphere of publicadministration. The Review asserted that “[t]he task of keeping her house sweetand clean devolves upon a woman.” Then it asked, “why should she not beequally capable of rendering the same services to her district?”112 Constructingthe “Englishwoman” necessitated eliciting compromises from each of the twoterms involved: the “Englishwoman” was she who exercised “private” virtues inthe “public” sphere. This had the effect not only of shifting the discourse offemininity to the “public,” but of shifting the discourse of the “public” into thesphere of the feminine.It was on this middle ground that the “Englishwoman” stood. Although theReview made attempts to acknowledge difference among Englishwomen, incertain contexts it becomes clear that the Review believed that “Englishwoman”was a reliable categorization. In an article on Emigration the Review suggestedreliance of the Review (and the similar publication, TheWomen’s Penny Paper) on biography tocreate a coherent identity from two contradictory ones suggests that pursuing Denise Riley’sinsight that the identity woman is temporally inconsistent, occuring in individuals and groups atonly at particular moments, might prove fruitful in understanding how new more satisfactoryidentities which reconcile alienation are produced. Like a baby, a new identity might be born ofthe passage of time.112\f 19: 387.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 50that a limited number of occupations in foreign lands might be suitable forEnglishwomen.113 Compared to each other the publication was willing torecognize limited variation among Englishwomen; compared to the women ofother nations Englishwomen fell into a “type.” This Englishwoman was definitelya heroic figure, hardworking, knowledgeable, and a participant in public life. Herperceived role in the national context as a moral and social guardian was clarifiedand developed throughout the 1 880s, and ultimately became the plank uponwhich feminist claims for women’s political and social privilege rested.The figure of the Englishwoman in the Review was not completely monolithic,but the range of possibilities was not extensive. In very few instances did theReview even acknowledge the existence of Englishwomen who did not conformto its construction of English race, ethnicity, or politics. Variations in women’scharacters and lives were recognized in a few contexts: class difference wasrecognized, and women were acknowledged to have different kinds ofoccupational skills and aptitudes. Articles on household work almost alwaysincluded a sentence or two declaring that some women “have no real liking fordomestic details,”114 making unhappy and unsuitable wives and mothers. TheReview recognised that women were occupied in diverse ways, as happy wivesand mothers, as criminals,115 (though this was regarded as reprehensible) asspinsters and wage labourers. The Review did claim that women should be at113V. 11: 493-95.114”How to Provide for Our Daughters,” V. 19: 55; see also “Normal or Abnormal,” V. 20: 533 -538.1’5See V. 11: 192 on women debtors and V. 14: 204,”A Woman Stealing from Her Husband.”These articles were included as evidence for the necessity of reforming married women’s legalstatus to that they could become legal proprietors, property owners, and able to contract theirown debts.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 51least as free from stereotyping as men, and the paper’s rejection of stereotypingto some extent tempers their generalisations about Englishwomen.This recognition of the variety of lives that Englishwomen led provided its ownchallenge to the “dominant” discourse of femininity, which was extremelylimited in its scope. The more important challenge was made by the Review intheir consistent representation of women’s lives as having public, rather thanprivate, significance. The discourse of femininity in the Review revolved almostexclusively around women’s role in the public arena: as workers in the nationaleconomy, as philanthropists, as public servants, and (oddly enough) as heroes.This construction of femininity was a result of Review’s idealization of middle-class urban “Englishness.” Within that discourse of Englishness, purely privatevirtue had little place: it was in politics, parliament and public administration thata virtuous national life was conducted and focussed. An English woman did notgive up her womanly cares and virtues, rather she displayed them in the public,the national sphere.One of the most striking revisions to the feminine ideal made by the theReview was in its preoccupation with women’s physically heroic deeds. It was “AHeroine” who managed a convict station in the Nicobar Islands whilst herhusband was absent. A rare piece of published correspondence reported to theReview’s readers news of the death of a young woman who was gored by a bull asshe saved a boy from the same fate. A poem commemorated the death of AliceAyers, who died at the tender age of seventeen rescuing three children from ahouse fire.116 By emphasizing the bravery and self-sacrificing nature of these116 “A Heroine” V. 15: 390; V. 17: 48 in Paragraphs - the story of a young woman, daughter ofa jailkeeper, who defeated a prison break.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 52acts, the Review instituted a civil equivalent to martial service. Reference wasoften made to the argument that women could not fully be citizens because theydid not serve in the military,117 and the creation of a domestic or peacetimemartial hero was a creative rebuttal. Similar articles heralded women’s directparticipation in military efforts in other nations.118 Englishwomen, who hadn’texperienced military activity on their own home ground, were limited to civilheroics, but the Review asserted that “...we do not believe Englishwomen wouldfall one whit behind their American sisters in self-devotion, were their country inperil.”119 Drawing attention to women’s physical bravery and self-sacrificedemonstrated women’s patriotism.The representation of women in a public context is a recurrent theme in theReview’s discourse of femininity. An important part of the Review’s representationof women was as workers in the context of a national economy. The Review hadas an object “to show how large a part of the social economy is filled by the sexwho the bustling capitalists would persuade us are not the breadwinners.”120 TheReview did not expend a great deal of ink on women’s work as mothers andwives, but when they did it was with the intent of forcing recognition for thepublic importance of that work in national economic productivity, to debunk themyth that a “married woman is a hanger on, a supported member of thecommonwealth, as little children are.”121 Articles on unpaid women’s work‘7”The Unfitness of Women,” V. 14: 339; see also V. 17 p. 211.118See “Madame Cahen, A French Chevaliere,” V. 20: 60-62; “Mademoiselle Lix,” V. 15: 357-359; “A Woman’s Story Of the War,” V. 20: 102-116; “Some Historical Women of Poland,” V.20: 297-302.119V. 20: 116.l2O\f 16: 105.121”Are Wives Supported?” V. 14: 486.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 53covered the contributions of unmarried daughters,122 wives and mothers,123 andeven of single women philanthropists.124 These articles almost always used thelanguage of state and nation in their demands for the recognition women’sproductive activities, describing the “enormous share that women contribute tothe productive wealth of the nation.”125 Women were represented consistently asworkers in the Review in order to construct them as a crucial part of the nationaleconomy.It was upon the strength of women’s participation in public duties, whether inofficial or unofficial capacities, that the Review built the identity of theEnglishwoman, and defined the nature of female citizenship. The focus on publicapplications of the maternal role was considerable, and was used both morefrequently and more emphatically as the 1 880s progressed. The manipulation ofthe discourse of femininity to rationalize public work with private virtues has beennoted by its historians as a characteristic feature of nineteenth century feminism.This trend had a tendency to marginalise arguments for female equality that werebased on other themes; but it was how the Review put the “English” in the“Englishwoman.”One of the areas in which the RevieWs “maternalism” is evident is in theattention it paid to women physicians and women’s medical training. WhileIawyering, teaching, and even nursing are nearly invisible as occupationspromoted for women by the Review, medical women received regular, emphatic122”Pin Money,” V. 15: 55.l23j 13: 481.124”Single Women and the State,” V. 16: 159.125”Industries of Women,” V. 19: 253.The Privileges of PatrIotism p. 54and praiseful attention. The Review regularly published lists of practicing womenphysicians and reported on the progress, or lack thereof, in the campaign toeducate women physicians.126 Susan Kingsley Kent suggests that the feministcampaign for women doctors was motivated by a conviction that malephysicians tended to exploit women patients sexually,127 but the context of theRevieWs emphasis on women’s employment and women’s caring abilitiessuggests that the medical women campaign may also have been motivated bythe more mundane desire to establish women in a paid occupation that wascompletely dominated by men, despite its dependence on “womanly” virtues.The effort to encourage feminine intervention in public work is especiallyevident in the Review’s promotion of female candidacy for public office. In areport on her own work as a Poor Law Guardian, E.G. Wilson wrote that servingwas “a privilege not to be despised by any woman who wishes to ‘serve her owngeneration by the will of God.”128 Readers of the Review were prepared for suchservice through many means. Women’s personal accounts of tenures of service,as well as more general articles, gave readers insight into the duties of electedpublic office and provided “noble examples” for women considering running.129The Review also gave instruction on obtaining office, educating readers in theelectoral process, describing the process for establishing nominees, and giving126V. 16 p. 65 Lists of registered medical women appeared in V. 12: 167; V. 15: 87;V. 1 7: 62; V. 20: 65-68.127Susan Kingsley Kent, Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914. (Princeton: Princeton U. P.,1987).128k, 17: 289.1295ee “Women Members of School Boards,” V. 19: 145; “Eight Years as A Guardian,” V. 20:201; “Suggestions for Women Guardians,” V. 18: 385-396; and “Women as Poor LawGuardians,” V. 15: 113.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 55campaigning tips.13° Whenever women’s work in the fields of public health,morality, education, and social well-being were discussed, the Review’s writersunderlined its significance to the nation. The nation was constructed as anexpanded home, in which women took the role of public guardians of what hadbeen viewed as private concerns. Throughout the 1 880s, women’s role in whatwas increasingly defined as ‘public housekeeping’ was emphasized and used asthe basis of a national identity for women.In a lengthy two part article titled “Public Housekeeping,” the Review exhortedits readers as follows: “Again we repeat that what the mother of a family does athome, the women of the nation are bound to do for the greater family.”131 Thisparticular article explicitly related areas of government responsibility to areas ofpersonal responsibility, literally comparing, for example, schools and (notably)poorhouses to the domestic nursery. The notion that women bore a specialresponsibility to participate in municipal government and other kinds of publicoffice was increasingly used by the Review, which by 1 887 was regularlysuggesting that “women have an especial obligation to look well into the affairsof the Municipality, for Municipal government is housekeeping on a largescale.”132 Finding a “deplorable want in that department of the work of ourpublic bodies which we should call the domestic department”, the Reviewincreasingly depicted women’s citizenship and national role in these terms,constructing women as the social and moral guardians of the nationalcommunity.130See “Local Elections,” V. 18: 1 59; “The Approaching Poor Law Elections,” V. 19: 107; “TheImportance of Municipal Elections to Women,” V. 16: 433; and “The Duty of MunicipalElectors,” V. 17: 433.131V.19: 436.l32/ 18: 433.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 56This description of the Englishwoman combined the essential characteristics ofboth the discourses of nationality and the discourses of womanhood that wereproduced in the Review. Women remained firmly in the social, continuing to carefor interests that had devolved on them within the private family: the care ofchildren, the sick and elderly, the management of hearth and home, theprotection of domestic peace. But the Review insisted that those activities betaken outside the bounds of the family home:Granted that it is the natural and happiest division of labour forthe women - where it is possible - to look after home andchildren...yet a woman has an entity of her own, she is notman’s wife merely, and though, like charity, her duties begin athome, they do not end there: she has duties to her neighboursand fellow citizens which ought not be neglected.133Working within what was women’s “more special charge in our socialeconomy,”134 the Review asked its readers to “well consider the importance ofthe service we undertake for the benefit of the social life of our country [as PoorLaw Guardians], by carrying out its laws, and helping to interpret them in themost just and merciful manner, in the interests of all classes, both rich and poor,who are affected by wide-reaching operation of our Poor Laws.”135 Not privateduties, but public responsibilities to the national community, were the sphere ofthe Englishwoman.It was Englishwomen, heirs to the great English tradition of public participationand administration, who took femininity into the public sphere. Not content toconfine their talents for government to the family home, they constructed thel33/ 16: 384.l34\f 18: 145.l35/ 18: 396.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 57nation as a site of social, as well as political, relations.136 To assert thatgovernment was something like a ‘national housekeeping’ was a significantdisruption of dominant constructions of the nation: parliament and otherinstitutions of public administration which were rigorously preserved as thedomain of the public male demanded womanly expertise. “Pure water, air andlight for homes and schools can only be secured by parliamentary action, andthese are matters which come home to women very keenly, and on which theirinfluence would be very salutary.”137 (my emphasis) The feminization of thepublic sphere was less an act of womanliness than of Englishness, a responseordained by the traditions of English parliamentary government to which theproducers of the Review were so intensely allied.Anna Davin has written that “mothers of the nation” emerged as a “dominant”description of women’s role in the late nineteenth century and remained preeminent until after the Second World War. A compelling construction ofwomen’s citizenship, it was apparently much more successful than attempts tolegitimate women’s public role on their economic or historical contributions. TheReview attempted to foreground these aspects of women’s citizenship in theearlier 1 880s, but they remained hidden, at least from scholarly view, until the1 980s. Although the Review continued to include waged labour, privatemothering, and more customary political activities in their depictions of theEnglishwoman, the most powerlul element in their account of female citizenshipwas the role of public guardian. Of women as municipal electors it was writtenthat “the temperance and uprightness of the young, the moral elevation andeducation of the community, the amenities and harmonies of life, are her peculiar136Sandra Stanley Holton, Feminism and Democracy: 15.137V. 11: 448.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 58responsibility and if she neglects them, and shuts herself up in selfish indifferenceor thoughtless ignorance, our national character must steadily deteriorate.”138The nation was constructed as a moral and social community, with women at itshelm.By involving femininity in the public sphere the Review not only madealterations in the representation of women. It also altered the representation ofthe public, to include elements of the social and moral for which women wereseen as peculiarly responsible. These revisions included representing publicadministration as “housekeeping,” which was a simple but resonant namechange. The Review inserted a moral element into the conception of the nation.Responding to arguments against women’s public abilities, the author of “TheUnfitness of Women” wrote that “The moral unfitness [of women] is the mostunlooked for count in the indictment; in all times of the world’s history we havebeen so accustomed to hear of our mental inferiority, that some few of us werehalf persuaded to believe there might be something in it; but we did think, we didhope that in goodness we at least excelled.”139Women’s goodness, their moraluprightness, was understood to be their peculiar strength. The Review, along withvarious other feminist movements, worked very hard to make morality anattribute of public life, thereby giving women an entre into the nation.The “national will” that was supposedly exercised in parliament wasconstructed by the Review as the product of a shared morality. Religious faithand institutions were, like official political institutions, perceived as part ofnational life, particularly in England which was defined in part by its unique and138\! 17: 433.139”The Unfitness of Women,” V. 14: 339.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 59official state faith.140 Church allegiances were less important within the LanghamPlace Group than in other communities because the women who composed ithad varying faiths;141 it was Christianity in general which was associated in theReview with England and “civilised” nations.142 Christian principles weresometimes argued to be the basis for liberal constitutional government,143 and itwas on those principles that the Review articulated a “national mores.”The concept of national conscience or morality appears in the Reviewparticularly after the publication of the Pall Mall Gazette’s “Maiden Tribute”articles in 1885, which, as Judith Walkowitz has written, provided an effective andwidely known narrative of the “woman as victim” on the basis of which feministscould argue for reform.144 The “Maiden Tribute” was referred to in the Review bya second generation euphemism, a “deep national sin.”145 The Review usedsimilarly religious language to refer to the Contagious Diseases Acts, of which itwas written that “the awakened conscience of the nation could not for honour’ssake, for principle, or for religion, tolerate the evil in its midst any longer.” This140 See Linda Colley in particular. Religious life was so identified with national character in theReview that a sentence that began with a question about different countries was ended withanswers about different religions. The question was “how to provide for our daughters?” Theanswer: “The Catholic Church used to answer, ‘by endowing convents where unmarriedwomen can be sheltered’, in Utah, the answer would be ‘by marrying them to elders.” V. 19:55.141 Catholicism, because of its instutionalised corporate women’s bodies, was attradive to manynineteenth century feminists in an age when women accomodated population and socialpressures by living communally. See Martha Vicinus, Independent Women. (Chicago & London:University of Chicago Press, 1985). See also Jane Rendall, “A Moral Engine?.”142there were exceptions: neither Mormons nor copts were considered on the same level asEuropean christians. See V. 17: 109/110, and V. 15: 403.143See “The Importance of Municipal Elections,” V. 16: 442, and “The Political Duties ofChristian Women,” V. 15: 546-564.144judith Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: 132-34.145V 16: 493.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 60particular article concluded with thanks to God for the victory of the repeal of theCD Acts.146 The nation, in addition to being a political community wasincreasingly constructed by the Review as a (Christian) moral community.just as the Review revised the discourse of femininity to attribute women andtheir lives with a public character, it altered the discourse of the nation. In theReview, the nation is not solely a political entity, but was constructed as a socialand moral body as well. This was a significant revision to understandings of thenation, and may have provided the original political pressures that resulted laterin the welfare state. This construction of the nation, and women’s role within it,was the product of the RevieWs recombination of “dominant” discourses offemininity and of the state. Far from allowing their identities as women to dispelor overshadow their national identities, the producers of the Review kept it at thecentre of their consciousness. Free press, free government, free labour, and freetrade were the ideals the Review adopted for women, and which forced womanlyvirtues into the world of parliament, public administration, and philanthropy. Inthe Review, virtuous womanhood was met in the exercise of English virtues.Although they were by no means prepared to disregard their identities as women,the producers and readers of the Review were perhaps less feminists, thannationalists.146V. 17: 145-48. “Now glory to the Lord of Hosts to whom all glories are.” is the subtitle of thearticle.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 61Conclusion: Feminism and NationalismFar from leaving a national identity and culture behind in favour of organisingthemselves in the context of a strictly feminist activity, the producers of theReview, had, by the 1 880s, placed Englishness at the centre of their identity. Sosignificant was the Review’s sense of English liberalism, and the role that theyconstructed for themselves within it, that their depiction of women both withinand without the English nation was shaped by it. National identification wascentral not only to their own identities, but also to their campaign for women’srights. The arguments made for the recognition and promotion of women’spublic role depended to a large extent on a language of nation and nationalism.If, as Katherine Verdery has argued, “ the political utilization of thesymbol nation through discourse and political activity, as well as the sentimentthat draws people into responding to this symbol’s use,”147 then the feminismrecorded in the Review was by the 1 880s a nationalist movement.The mobilisation of national feeling was essential to the feminist campaign forinclusion in national and state institutions. An increasing level of publicparticipation by women was hailed by at least one writer as the means of theircivic education: “With new powers in women’s hands new responsibilities havearisen, bringing with them a keen feeling of interest in the world which they arenow capable and active citizens. They are drawn nearer to other people’s lives,losing the narrow exclusiveness which was both cause and effect of theirweakness and isolation.”48 The construction of Englishwomen as productive,147Katharine Verdery, “Whither Nation and Nationalism”, Daedalus: 38.148k, 18: 11.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 62tax-paying149 citizens and as Christians (in accordance with the national morality)was the foundation of arguments for women’s political participation, especiallyas the representation of women as “national housekeepers” was developedthrough the late 1880s.While appeals for participation were made on the grounds of women’s skillsand efforts, they were also made in more general patriotic terms that utilised thediscourse of Englishness produced in the Review: pride in the English “traditions”of democratic government. In the year end review for 1 888, the Reviewsuggested that “It would have been hard if, in this tercentary of England’sde’iverance from a great peril, and this bicentenary of the establishment of herfreedom, Englishwomen had not had some reason to congratulate themselves onsteady progress towards freedom and intellectual power.”15° Although theReview found itself having to work very hard in order to establish or restore atradition of public participation for women, its producers could at least argue that“the claim for a share in the sovereign power of the vote is in harmony with thenoblest traditions of the past.”151The use of the language of patriotism in the Review sometimes tended topurplish prose: it was cited as a “proof of a want of patriotism to declare againstwomen doctors.”152 In a particularly creative moment the Review capitalized not149See Vol. 11: 2; also em section on The Account Books in “Public Housekeeping:” “[Women]are (we are speaking of the average woman) more careful in the little things than men, moretimid in expenditure, because they have had less money as rule to spend.” The author arguesthat if for no other reason, women are more cautious of the public purse because as smallhouseholders they bear taxation more heavily. V. 19: 438.150V. 19: 529.151V. 14: 15.l52/ 15: 394.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 63only on English patriotism but derision for England’s traditional “other” when itcited Frenchwoman (and Communard) Louise Michel’s praise of the Englishgovernment for allowing women to participate in its institutions, Incredibly, itquoted Michel making the following comment: “no wonder you love yourmonarchy and do not wish to change it.”153 Pulling on the heartstrings of free-trade liberalism, the Review opened its biography of Matilda Chaplin Ayrton, M.D.with the touching recollection that “In the year 1846 when the great principle ofFree Trade was recognised in England by the repeal of the Corn Laws, there wasborn at Honfleur on the north coast of France a girl, who during her short life didmuch to sweep away some of the injurious monopolies which have so long outlived commercial protection in our country.”54 These and a few other instancesof outlandish liberties with the customs of straight reportage are rare in the pagesof the Review, and were invariably taken in the context of asserting the patriotismof women and feminism.The language of patriotism, so liberally employed in the pages of the Review,had by the 1 880s become a government prerogative and an essentiallyconservative position. But patriotism had only recently been converted toconservatism, having enjoyed a long history as a language of protest, employedmost recently by the Chartists.155 Although the producers of the Review did usethe language of patriotism in ways that supported “dominant” ideology and stateinstitutions (including imperialism),156 as women they could not use it153V 14: 92.154V 14: 343.155Hugh Cunningham, “The Language of Patriotism,” in Patriotism: 57-89.156See for example “Present Condition and Future Prospects of Medical Women in India,” V. 19:481-488. For a discussion of nineteenth century English feminists role in imperialism, seeAntoinette M. Burton, “The White Woman’s Burden: British Feminists and the Indian Woman,1865-1915”, Women’s Studies International Forum, 1990 1 3(4): 295-308.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 64completely uncritically. The adoption of a separate identity as women alienatedthe producers and readers of Review not so much from their nationality as fromEnglishmen, and they used the language of nationalism to express thatalienation. Employing a kind of reverse nationalism to argue for change, theReview also deployed the language of patriotism in a radical context which wasseverely critical of the existing state and its institutions.While women’s contributions to public life were counted as a national gain, theReview conversely counted the efforts that women were required to expend intheir campaigns for civic representation and participation as a national loss.“Proud of its power to outstrip other nations in the race of life, [the Englishnationj has hitherto contentedly hampered itself, and taken away half its runningforce, by shutting women out of the course!’157 The loss was expressed in verymaterial terms when the Review used a political economy metaphor to describethe social economy which was deprived of the labour of half the nation.“[Wjomen have had to create their own machinery, and make the roads theywere to travel upon. Every success that has been gained has cost far more toflesh and blood and nerves and brain, than any similar success gained by men.What a waste is here!”158 These appeals to the national economy, which figuredso large in middle-class Englishness, were intended to cut deeply.Resistance to women’s public participation was not simply counted as a loss.The Review counted the “position of women” in England against its claims tobeing a civilised nation. Whatever role women held in public life was constructedas a product of national culture, specifically of historical precedent, social,157”Increase in National Strength,” V.12: 290.158 15: p. 353.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 65economic, and legal practices, and sometimes geographical circumstances. Injudging their own culture the producers of the Review frequently resorted to onestandard: the public role of women. As feminists, the producers of the Reviewconceived of “civilisation” as including a standard for the participation of womenin public life.159 In 1886 the Review wrote:It is in the equal co-operation of women with men in public as inprivate life, in the cultivation of the universal intelligence, not of halfthe intellect only, of a nation, and in the utilisation of all the force,spiritual and mental as well as material, of a people for the service ofthe common good that its well-being and civilisation necessarilyconsist.16°English practices and institutions were obviously found wanting in their utilisationof female resources, and the Review rarely failed to point this out.Conversely, the Review was willing to ascribe a high degree of “civilisation” topeoples who met their criteria for the treatment of women, notwithstanding theirdegree of conformity to other standards. It is not uncommon to find racial“others” held up, albeit ironically, as models of “civilisation” in this respect, andin one case the Review made a specific claim against their own “Aryan” race aspeculiarly guilty of depriving “women of every shred of real power, whilstprofessing to treat her with chivalrous deference.”161 Some of the indictmentsused the language of race in a gentle way: “Without wishing to draw too dark apicture of the condition of women in civilised countries, it is impossible to denythat as far as law extended there were startling similarities between the status of159Like many others deployed by the Review, this was not an uncommon argument; it was usedby J.S. Mill, among others. See Stefan Collini’s Introduction to “The Subjection of Women,” OnLiberty and Other Writings, ed. Stefan Collini, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989): xx.l6O\/ 17: 210/11.161”Status of Women Among Uncivilised Nations,” V. 13: 48.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 66the Negro and of women.”162 Other references were more condemning: “Thepractice of some Eastern peoples is more consistent when they kill off those oftheir female children whom they do not want. So long as these unjust laws [oncustody] prevail our civilisation stands arraigned.”163 It is in these contexts thatthe significance of whiteness to Englishness is most evident, and the comparisonof non-white races was clearly intended as a cutting blow.Although this critical attack on Englishness appears to be produced from anallegiance to womanhood, it was in fact constructed by national ideals. Theintention in any of the attacks on the nation was to draw attention to the absenceof “English” freedoms in women’s lives. The demands of the RevieWs liberalfeminism were ultimately demands to participate fully in the national culture offree election, free labour, free press, free worship, and free trade. These aims werenot, in the first instance, demands for equality or justice for women, but forEnglishwomen. This orientation considerably limited the objectives and thepossible achievements of the feminism represented in the Review.English nationalism impaired the noble sentiments of an internationalistwomen’s movement. By designing a limited range of goals for women’s equality,the Review produced a very limited ideal of womanhood, which was exemplifiedby Englishwomanhood. The depiction of “women” in the Review, even though itwas a picture drawn with feelings of sympathy and solidarity, is extremelyethnocentric. Relatively like the English in culture and interests, Americanwomen were praised in the Review, whereas Egyptian women, culturally distant“sisters,” were not. Not only did Englishwomen excel as women, but as world1&2 11: 345.163\f 15: 497.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 67leaders it was left to Englishwomen to “retain the courage and high principle, ofwhich this year so many thousands have given proof, [so that] they may form aninvincible army, to spread the blessings of pure domestic life over the wholeworld.”164 The result of constructing womanhood inside English national culturewas to make feminism imperialistic, in the worst sense of the word.Moreover, liberal feminism’s very Englishness may have worked to defeat it. Amovement so closely allied with the political culture of mid-nineteenth centuryEngland was doomed to die with that political culture. The ideal of parliament asa locus of public debate and administration faded with the progress of classpolitics, a development in English national politics that was already underway inthe 1 880s. The “strange death of liberal England” also meant the stillbirth of afeminism that evolved within it. When the Review ceased to publish in 1 91 0 itwas probably because it no longer had a culture - the culture of the monthlyReviews, of rational public debate - within which to operate.This should be a cautionary tale for twentieth century feminists. It seems wiseto examine the nature of our goals to try to determine in what ways feminismsrevolve around their own national political context, and whether it may bebeneficial to attempt to detach them from that culture. Certainly we must expectto feel pressures for change to our feminisms as local political cultures, andespecially nationalisms, are being disrupted and rebuilt. Evidently the nationstate has had a powerful influence on feminism: as nationalism changes inresponse to late-twentieth century political developments, feminism may need tobe reinvented.164\f 14: 531.The Privileges of Patriotism p. 68We might also wish to reflect on the significance of our national identities toour identities as women, men, and our other affiliations. It has been thought, byhistorians and contemporaries, that women’s national identity in nineteenthcentury England was insignificant. Though national identity seemed not to relateto women and the culture of the feminine, it is clearly written in the pages of theEnglishwoman’s Review of Social and Industrial Questions that national culture hada powerful resonance and influence on the lives and ambitions of the womenwho produced it. The process of resolving different or contradictory identitiescan result in nearly unrecognizable progeny; the moral matron would at firstglance appear to be completely at odds with the tradition of the free liberalEnglishman. But they were of a pair. The Englishwoman of the Review was hardlyshadowy; in fact she overshadowed other women, other feminists, who were notsufficiently “English.”The Privileges of Patriotism p. 69BibliographyAnderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. (New York: Verso, 1991).Beichem, John. Class, Party and the Political System in Britain, 1867 - 1914.(Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, 1 990).Berridge, Virginia. “Content Analysis and Historical Research on Newspapers”, ThePress and English Society from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries. MichaelHarris and Alan Lee, eds., (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses,1986): 201-228.Bhaba, Homi K. “introduction: Narrating the Nation,” Nation and Narration, ed.H.K. 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