Shattock, Joanne. The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. Oxford University Press, 1993.
Standard Name: Besant, Annie
Birth Name: Annie Wood
Married Name: Annie Besant
Used Form: the wife of a beneficed clergyman
AB is known primarily for two streams of non-fiction writing, one concerning birth control and the other the Theosophist movement. However, this omits much of the remarkable output whose topics ranged from women's rights and religion to politics and science; only a small selection from over one hundred pamphlets, lectures, and essays can be discussed here.
She often pursued various topics simultaneously. For example, during 1878 and 1879 while she was trying to regain custody of her children, she was also organising her writings on the French Revolution; translating a book from French; keeping up with her weekly journalism; producing pamphlets on atheism, republicanism, India and Ireland; sitting on committees; and, of course, continuing to lecture.
As well as such often controversial writings, AB published short fiction.
Dinnage, Rosemary. Annie Besant. Penguin, 1986.
|Connections Sort descending||Author name||Excerpt|
|Cultural formation||Charlotte Despard||
She converted to Catholicism less than a year after her husband's death, which made her a co-religionist of those she now set out to help.
Around 1909, after attending a series of lectures by...
Linklater, Andro. An Unhusbanded Life. Hutchinson, 1980.
|Cultural formation||Rose Allatini|
|Cultural formation||Mary Gawthorpe||
MG begins her autobiography with her local identity: I was Yorkshire born. My forebears, grandparents maternal and paternal, were all born in Yorkshire, in Leeds so far as I know.
Born English therefore, she...
Gawthorpe, Mary. Up Hill to Holloway. Traversity Press, 1962.
|Family and Intimate relationships||Sir Walter Besant|
|Family and Intimate relationships||Muriel Box||
MB 's mother was christened Caroline Beatrice (Doney) but known as Bertie.
She was a woman of passion, of deep-rooted prejudices, capable of violent outbursts of temper when her will was crossed. She...
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Box, Muriel. Odd Woman Out. Leslie Frewin, 1974.
|Family and Intimate relationships||Florence Marryat|
|Family and Intimate relationships||Anna Wickham||
After AW 's marriage, Alice Harper returned to London briefly and opened a physiognomy parlour in Regent Street. She also became involved in Annie Besant 's Theosophist movement.
Hepburn, James, Anna Wickham, and James Hepburn. “Anna Wickham: A Memoir”. The Writings of Anna Wickham, Free Woman and Poet, edited by Reginald Donald Smith, Virago Press, 1984, pp. 1 - 48.
Wickham, Anna, James Hepburn, and James Hepburn. “Fragment of an Autobiography: Prelude to a Spring Clean”. The Writings of Anna Wickham Free Woman and Poet, edited by Reginald Donald Smith, Virago Press, 1984, pp. 51 - 157.
A portrait of Alice...
|Family and Intimate relationships||Ella Wheeler Wilcox||
He had promised her a message from the next world, and his death precipitated her into an anxious search. She travelled to California and read avidly in spiritualist books by Sir Oliver Lodge , Annie Besant
|Family and Intimate relationships||Katharine Bruce Glasier||
KBG was devastated by her husband's death, but later she began to experience visions of his continuing presence (as she did of her son's presence after he too died).
John Bruce Glasier had...
Kelly, Gary, and Edd Applegate, editors. Dictionary of Literary Biography 190. Gale Research, 1998.
Glasier, Katharine Bruce. The Glen Book. London.
|Friends, Associates||Emmeline Pankhurst|
|Friends, Associates||Emma Frances Brooke|
|Friends, Associates||Catharine Amy Dawson Scott|
|Friends, Associates||William Morris|
|Friends, Associates||George Bernard Shaw|
|Friends, Associates||Margaret Harkness|
25 August 1857
The Obscene Publications Act allowed for the censorship of pornographic materials entering Britain.
18 September 1867
The Custody of Infants Act made provision for women separating from their husbands to be awarded custody of children up to the age of sixteen.
9 July 1885
Karl Pearson (then a solemn, rationalist young barrister) held the first meeting of a society designed to talk about sex in a spirit of high seriousness and sense of intellectual adventure:
the Men and Women's Club
Walkowitz, Judith R. “Science, Feminism and Romance: The Men and Women’s Club 1885-1889”. History Workshop Journal, No. 1, pp. 36 -59.
One thousand four hundred women workers at the Bryant and May match factory in London went on strike, in protest against poor working conditions and low wages; this became known as the Match Girls (or...
12 August 1889
The London Dock Strike began; it aroused widespread sympathy for striking dockers.