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Dilemmas of a Liberal Descent -- or, the Ladies Vanish

Pedersen, Susan G.

This is a talk about the difficulties the genre of political biography poses for historians writing about a female subject. It discusses the detective work I undertook to recover the ways a number of forgotten women -- her mother, her sister, and her lifelong partner, Elizabeth Macadam -- facilitated Eleanor Rathbone's political and parliamentary career, and discusses why both Rathbone and Macadam sought to disguise the importance of that collaboration. It also reflects on the subterfuges biographers themselves resort to (and that I certainly resorted to) when trying to recover personal material.

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November 29, 2018
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