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British Quaker women and peace, 1880s to 1920s

Cho, Mijin (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis explores the lives of four British Quaker women—Isabella Ford, Isabel Fry, Margery Fry, and Ruth Fry—focusing on the way they engaged in peace issues in the early twentieth century. In order to examine the complexity and diversity of their experiences, this thesis investigates the characteristics of their Quakerism, pacifism and wider political and personal life, as well as the connections between them. In contrast to O’Donnell’s view that most radical Victorian Quaker women left Quakerism to follow their political pursuits with like-minded friends outside of Quakerism, Isabella Ford, one of the most radical socialists, and feminists among Quakers remained as a Quaker. British Quakers were divided on peace issues but those who disagreed with the general Quaker approach resigned and were not disowned; the case of Isabel Fry is a good example of this. This thesis argues that the experiences of four Quaker women highlight the permissive approach Quakerism afforded its participants in the early twentieth century, challenging previous interpretations of Quakerism as a mono-culture. Highlighting the swift change within Quakerism from being the closed group of the nineteenth to a more open group in the twentieth century, this thesis describes the varied and varying levels of commitment these women had to the group as ‘elastic Quakerism’.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dandelion, Pink
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:BX Christian Denominations
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1072
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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