Helen Blackburn

Standard Name: Blackburn, Helen
Birth Name: Helen Blackburn
Pseudonym: H. B.
HB wrote during the second half of the nineteenth century. She is seen today as a significant figure in the fight for women's suffrage, although during her own lifetime she was sometimes criticized as too moderate. Her writings include articles in periodicals, political pamphlets, and essays. Her scholarly history of the suffrage movement is still recognized by scholars today as a reliable and useful historical resource.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Jessie Boucherett
Presumably white, JB was born into a propertied Protestant family. The family estate at Willingham, Lincolnshire, had been passed down from Mathew Boucherett , a Frenchman who emigrated to England in 1644. Helen Blackburn
Friends, Associates Jessie Boucherett
Helen Blackburn recounts that JB met Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and Adelaide Procter after casually picking up a copy of the English Woman's Journal at a railway station. She was so impressed with the contents...
Intertextuality and Influence Marion Reid
MR is thought to have influenced both Helen Blackburn and Caroline Dall , though it is significant that Blackburn omitted Reid's work from her history of the women's suffrage movement.
Helsinger, Elizabeth K., Robin Lauterbach Sheets, and William Veeder. The Woman Question. Garland, 1983.
1: 128n17
Ferguson, Susanne, and Marion Reid. “Foreword”. A Plea for Woman, Polygon, 1988, p. v - viii.
Intertextuality and Influence Charlotte Stopes
Helen Blackburn in her 1902 history of the women's suffrage movement to date, declined to go over the territory covered in CS 's book, commenting that the story of the Long Ebb
Stopes, Charlotte. British Freewomen: Their Historical Privilege. Swan Sonnenchein, 1894.
in British...
politics Jessie Boucherett
In 1859, along with Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and Adelaide Procter , JB launched the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women (SPEW). They held their first meeting on 19 June 1859.
Stone, James S. Emily Faithfull: Victorian Champion of Women’s Rights. P. D. Meany, 1994.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
“Obituary: Miss Emilia Jessie Boucherett”. Times, p. 8.
Though all...
politics Jessie Boucherett
JB 's associates in maintaining the original committee's name and agenda included Millicent Garrett Fawcett , Frances Power Cobbe , Lydia Becker , Helen Blackburn , and Caroline Ashurst Biggs .
Levine, Philippa. Victorian Feminism 1850-1900. Hutchinson, 1987.
64, 66
Historian Philippa Levine
politics Jessie Boucherett
In 1891 JB acted with Helen Blackburn and Ada Heather-Biggs to found the Women's Employment Defence League , which opposed protective legislation for women workers; JB 's participation has been interpreted as indicating political conservatism...
Textual Production Lydia Becker
The Journal produced a memorial issue this month, which was its last. In 1897 Helen Blackburn published extracts from LB 's writings for the journal under the title Words of a Leader.
Doughan, David, and Denise Sanchez. Feminist Periodicals, 1855-1984. Harvester Press, 1987.
Mitchell, Sally, editor. Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. Garland Press, 1988.
British Library Catalogue.
Textual Production Jessie Boucherett
In 1896 JB , Helen Blackburn , and others published a joint work entitled The Condition of Working Women and the Factory Acts.
British Library Catalogue.
Textual Production Charlotte Stopes
CS dated her preface to her treatise on female suffrage, British Freewomen: Their Historical Privilege (which draws on material gathered by Helen Blackburn ).
Stopes, Charlotte. British Freewomen: Their Historical Privilege. Swan Sonnenchein, 1894.
Crawford, Elizabeth. “Books and Ephemera For Sale: Catalogue 182”. Woman and Her Sphere.


January 1866
The Englishwoman's Review began publication in London.
Two new groups emerged from the National Society for Women's Suffrage after internal dissension about permitting affiliations with other organisations: the Central Committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage retained its existing name; the...
July 1910
The Englishwoman's Review ended publication in London.