Magarey, Susan: Catherine Helen Spence: ‘The most distinguished woman they had had in Australia’

Susan Magarey

Catherine Helen Spence: ‘”The most distinguished woman they had had in Australia”‘, Vida! Australian Women’s History Network, 1 March 2017

Spence (1825-1910) was ‘[a] charismatic public speaker at a time when women were supposed to speak only at their own firesides; a novelist comparable with George Eliot and Charlotte Perkins Gilman; a pioneering woman journalist; a public intellectual influential in the achievement of women’s suffrage in Australia’. The article looks at the story of Spence and other first-wave (and some later) Australian feminists.

The article is part of VIDA’s Inspirational Women series for Women’s History Month. Susan Magarey’s Passions of the First-Wave Feminists is freely available to download under files here.

Note also the very recently published ‘virtual issue’ of Historical Research to mark Women’s History Month. The issue (no paywall) includes ‘a selection of articles by women historians published since 2000. The collection includes academics at various stages of their careers – from eminent professors to early career researchers – and highlights the range and depth of women’s research interests.’

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