Advertisement

‘Guilty Women:’ Powers behind Thrones

  • Julie V. Gottlieb

Abstract

On 14 February, 1939—St. Valentine’s Day, appropriately enough—the Prime Minister announced to Parliament that the French President wished to visit both Houses on his forthcoming State visit. The occasion was to be “open to Members of both Houses,” and those who signified their intention to attend were “invited to bring a lady with them.” Chamberlain loyalist Miss Horsbrugh was a bit concerned, and asked “whether lady members of the House may bring a man?” to which the PM replied: “naturally there will be reciprocity.”1 Horsbrugh’s demand for clarification on this point is a good indication of the symbolically important gains women had made in reforming parliamentary procedure and etiquette, and the strides they had taken to be included in matters of international relations. Further, the PM’s response revealed “a mind filled with thoughts of appeasement,”2 as appeasement had developed into the ways and means of pacifying both dictators and the battle of the sexes.

Keywords

Prime Minister Foreign Policy Conservative Party Edward VIII High Politics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 3.
    Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers of the Right (London, 1981).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Martin Pugh, ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’ Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars (London, 2005), p. 271.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See Nicoletta Gullace, The Blood of our Sons: Men, Women and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship During the Great War (Basingstoke, 2004);Google Scholar
  4. June Purvis, “Emmeline Pankhurst in the Aftermath of Suffrage, 1918–1928,” in Julie V. Gottlieb and Richard Toye (eds), The Aftermath of Suffrage (Basingstoke, 2013), pp. 19–36;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barbara Storm Farr, The Development and Impact of Right-Wing Politics in Britain, 1903–1932 (New York, 1987).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The Marchioness of Londonderry, Retrospect (London, 1938), p. 145.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ian Kershaw, Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry, the Nazis and the Road to War (New York, 2004), p. 23.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See A. Susan Williams, Ladies of Influence: Women of the Elite in Interwar Britain (London, 2000), pp. 13–38.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Anne De Courcy, Society’s Queen: The Life of Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry (London, 2004), p. 329.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    N.C. Fleming, The Marquess of Londonderry: Aristocracy, Power and Politics in Britain and Ireland (London, 2005).Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Quoted in Anne De Courcy, Society’s Queen (London, 1992), p. 322.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    The Marchioness of Londonderry, Retrospect (London, 1938), pp. 255–256.Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    For helpful taxonomies of anti-Semitism in the British context see Tony Kushner, The Persistence of Prejudice: Antisemitism in British Society During the Second World War (Manchester, 1989)Google Scholar
  14. and more specifically women’s anti-Semitism, Julie V. Gottlieb, “‘Motherly Hate:’ Gendering Anti-Semitism in the British Union of Fascists”, Gender & History, 14(2), August, 2002, pp. 294–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 27.
    Jeremy A. Crang, “The Revival of the British Women’s Auxiliary Services in the Late Nineteen Thirties,” Historical Research 83(220), May, 2010, pp. 343–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 28.
    See R.M. Douglas, Feminist Freikorps: The British Voluntary Women Police, 1914–1940 (Westport CT, 1999).Google Scholar
  17. 29.
    Duff Cooper, Old Men Forget (London, 1953), p. 251.Google Scholar
  18. 30.
    Diana Cooper, The Light of Common Day (London, 1959), p. 197.Google Scholar
  19. 31.
    John Julius Norwich (ed.), The Duff Cooper Diaries (London, 2005), p. 260.Google Scholar
  20. 43.
    See David Faber, Speaking for England: Leo, Julian and John Amery — The Tragedy of a Political Family (London, 2007).Google Scholar
  21. 48.
    L.S. Amery, My Political Life, Vol. 3: The Unforgiving Years 1929–1940 (London, 1955).Google Scholar
  22. 49.
    Andrew Roberts, ‘The Holy Fox:’ The Life of Lord Halifax (London, 1997) p. 8.Google Scholar
  23. 50.
    The Earl of Halifax, Fullness of Days (London, 1957).Google Scholar
  24. 51.
    Martha Dodd, My Years in Germany (London, 1939), p. 287.Google Scholar
  25. 52.
    See Letter from NC to Ida, 19 September, 1938, in Robert Self (ed.), The Neville Chamberlain Diary Letters: Volume 4: The Downing Street Years, 1934–1940 (Aldershot, 2005), p. 347.Google Scholar
  26. 53.
    Nevile Henderson, Failure of a Mission: Berlin 1937–1939 (London, 1940), p. 22.Google Scholar
  27. 58.
    Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers of the Right (London, 1980);Google Scholar
  28. Richard Griffiths, Patriotism Perverted (London, 1998).Google Scholar
  29. 60.
    See David Pryce-Jones, Unity Mitford: A Quest (London: 1976);Google Scholar
  30. Paul Fussell, Abroad: British Literary Travelling Between the Wars (Oxford, 1980);Google Scholar
  31. Angela Schwartz, “British Visitors to National Socialist Germany: In a Familiar or a Foreign Country?” Journal of Contemporary History, 28(3), July, 1993, pp. 487–509;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kathryn Steinhaus, “Valkyrie: Gender, Class, European Relations and Unity Mitford’s Passion for Fascism,” unpublished PhD Thesis (McGill, 2011);Google Scholar
  33. Petra Rau, “The Fascist Body Beautiful and the Imperial Crisis in 1930s British Writing,” Journal of European Studies, 39(1), March, 2009, pp. 5–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 61.
    See Rosita Forbes, “Hitler — as a Woman Know Him,” Sunday Dispatch, 19 March, 1939.Google Scholar
  35. 62.
    Mary Allen’s Lady in Blue (London, 1936) details her meetings with the top brass in Nazi Germany in 1936.Google Scholar
  36. 65.
    Nesta Webster, “Germany and England: I. The Volte Face,” The Patriot, 13 October, 1938 CHAR 2/322 [The editors of The Patriot sent this edition of the magazine to Churchill, in which he is severely attacked. His secretary send back a biting note]Google Scholar
  37. 71.
    Cicely Hamilton, Time and Tide, 15 October, 1938.Google Scholar
  38. 72.
    Ethel Smyth, “A Recantation,” Time and Tide, 5 November, 1938.Google Scholar
  39. 73.
    See Susan Grayzel, At Home and Under Fire: Air Raids and Culture in Britain from the Great War to the Blitz (Cambridge, 2012).Google Scholar
  40. 74.
    Luciana Ashworth, “Feminism, War and the Prospects of International Government: Helena Swanwick and the Lost Feminists of Interwar International Relations,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 13(1), March, 2011, pp. 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 75.
    Beryl Haslam, From Suffrage to Internationalism: The Political Evolution of Three British Feminists, 1908–1939 (New York, 1999).Google Scholar
  42. 78.
    Ellen Wilkinson, “Techniques of Peace-Keeping,” Time and Tide, 25 December, 1937.Google Scholar
  43. 80.
    Swanwick, Time and Tide, 22 October, 1938.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie V. Gottlieb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations