Victorian Literature and Culture
Arianne Chernock, Boston University

The Right to Rule and the Rights of Women in Victorian Britain

Abstract

Queen Victoria has long been treated as playing a negligible role in the 19th-c. women's rights movement. Yet, as my research shows, Victorian feminists saw radical potential in their female sovereign, and used her as a central figure in their campaigning -- at least for a time. This talk will provide an overview of my book-in-progress, on 'The Right to Rule and the Rights of Women,' which explores the place of "royalist feminism" in the 19th-c. women's rights movement, and its surprising role in shaping modern understandings of citizenship, the British state and constitutional monarchy.