Infidel feminism is the first in-depth study of a distinctive brand of women's rights that emerged out of the Victorian Secularist movement. It looks at the lives and work of a number of female activists, whose renunciation of religion shaped their struggle for emancipation. Anti-religious or secular ideas were fundamental to the development of feminist thought, but have, until now, been almost entirely passed over in the historiography of the Victorian and Edwardian women's movement. In uncovering an important tradition of Freethinking feminism, this book reveals an ongoing radical and free love current connecting Owenite feminism with the more 'respectable' post-1850 women's movement and the 'New Women' of the early twentieth century. This book, newly available in paperback, will be invaluable to both scholars and students of social and cultural history and feminist thought, and to interdisciplinary studies of religion and secularisation, as well as those interested in the history of women's movements more broadly.
Laura Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Modern British History at the University of Warwick
Introduction 1. Freethinking Feminists: women in the Freethought movement 2. Counter-Conversions: Freethinking feminists and the renunciation of religion 3. Preachers of Truth: Women's activism in the Secularist movement 4. Infidel Feminism: Feminism in the Freethought movement 5. Freethinking feminists and the women's movement 6. Freethought and Free Love? Marriage, birth control and sexual morality Conclusion Select bibliography Index
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