‘Guilty Women:’ Powers behind Thrones

  • Julie V. Gottlieb


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.


Prime Minister Foreign Policy Conservative Party Edward VIII High Politics 
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Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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

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