Mary Lee, by Denise George #BookReview

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Mary Lee, Denise George’s biography of a ‘turbulent anarchist’ and her battle for women’s rights is a perfect companion to Clare Wright’s recently published You Daughters of Freedom (which I reviewed here).  That’s because Wright’s book about the struggle for women’s suffrage in Australia and beyond – comprehensive though it is – pays scant attention to the event that started it all in Australia: the achievement of the women’s vote in South Australia in 1894.  Had it not been for women’s suffrage in South Australia, those ‘founding fathers’ would not have had to negotiate women’s suffrage in the new rules for voting in the very first federal election.  As Wright makes very clear, the South Australians were ready to derail federation altogether if their women were not allowed to vote, and it was inconceivable that women in some states could vote and others could not.  The parliament was snookered, and so women…

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