Magazine article New Internationalist

Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States

Magazine article New Internationalist

Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States

Article excerpt

Rebel Crossings New women, free lovers and radicals in Britain and the United States by Sheila Rowbotham (Verso, ISBN 9781784785888)

In February 1897, over a vegetarian lunch in Boston, three women formed a rebel cell called The Sensible Skirt Vindicators and resolved to wear their spring outfits 'a daring six inches from the ground'. Feminist historian Sheila Rowbotham's collection of interweaving biographies of six activists excels in such details that illuminate the lives of free-thinking pioneers - four women, two men - on both sides of the Atlantic.

Rowbotham has long been fascinated by the self-educated shoemaker poets, the wire pullers and the bold individuals who first embraced socialism in Victorian Bristol and tried to create a co-operative, freer society. Rebel Crossings is the culmination of lifelong scholarship. It's a labour of love and exhaustive archival research, with notes running to 70 pages. …

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