Most people associate Victorian women with high tea and corsets, not with struggles for justice and equality. However, Angela DiVeglia, graduate intern at the Sallie Bingham Center and co-curator of “I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers,” spends much of her days examining the relationships between current feminist thought and the work done by early feminists in the United States and Great Britain.
Several of the items in the library’s current exhibit, such as the pamphlet above (Our Policy: An Address to Women Concerning the Suffrage by Frances Power Cobbe), were produced by strong and outspoken feminists who wrote and lectured widely during a time when women were still expected to remain within the domestic sphere.
DiVeglia writes, “It’s really inspiring and grounding to work with these kinds of materials; it’s easy to think of our own struggles outside of their historical contexts, to feel like we’re the only people fighting these particular fights. Seeing pamphlets and books produced by people like Frances Cobbe and Annie Wood Besant—women who were often ostracized for their work, and who occupy marginal places in history—reminds us that we’re actually part of a huge, rich legacy of people who want to create a better world.”
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the exhibit yet, it will be on display in the Perkins Library Gallery until February 21!