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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

Introduction

Summary

At various moments during her long rule, Queen Victoria (r. 1837–1901) made clear that she was no fan of women’s rights. In a letter written in 1852 to her Uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians, the queen – then in the throes of motherhood – observed that her husband Albert “grows daily fonder and fonder of politics and business, and is wonderfully fit for both – showing such perspicuity and such courage – and I grow daily to dislike them both more and more. We women are not made for governing: and, if we are good women, we must dislike these masculine occupations!” In 1870, faced with the prospect of a women’s franchise bill passing in Parliament, the now-widowed queen engaged in a lengthy correspondence with Prime Minister William Gladstone, in which she registered her “strongest aversion for the socalled & most erroneous ‘Rights of Woman

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