Maureen Wright
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Calvary to resurrection
Summer 1874–82
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This chapter presents a narrative set within the context of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy's work as honorary secretary of the Married Women's Property Committee (MWPC). Elizabeth worked hard to shield Ben Elmy from the censure of their friends. The principles of moral ‘justice’ and freedom of expression long held by Elizabeth and Ben were pushed aside, and the ‘flutterings in the suffrage dovecotes’ escalated. As their son, Frank Elmy, approached his first birthday, his mother faced the challenge of resurrecting the MWPC from the doldrums. While Elizabeth's efforts to improve the lives of the married women of Britain received commendation by at least some of her peers, her attempts to change attitudes to encompass a perception of wives as possessing a moral right to determine their own actions were less successful. The Criminal Code Bill did not pass into law, much to Elizabeth's satisfaction.

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