Co-operation and co-authorship

automatic writing, socialism and gender in late Victorian and Edwardian Birmingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article investigates the relationships between socialism, spiritualism and gender in late Victorian and Edwardian Birmingham. It does so by focusing on the automatic writings, poetry and essays of the Holden family, who were both prominent members of Birmingham Labour Church and committed spiritualists. It considers how these texts' usages of the concept of 'co-operation', which was central to both movements, indicate contemporary ideas about women's appropriate roles in the public and private family of the socialist revolution. Furthermore, the author argues that the family's involvement in the city's industrial endeavours (in the family paint firm) and artistic pursuits (through the municipal art school, influenced by William Morris) led to re-imaginings of woman's creative powers. In the narrative of the 'messages from the unseen'-'inspired' and written by mother and daughters, framed and edited by the father-debates about the role of marriage, servants, female political activity and poetic inspiration become the subjects of a unique form of female collaborative literary production. This activity both broadens and problematizes accounts of women's status in the socialist and spiritualist movements of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-389
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's Writing
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Fingerprint

Socialism
Authorship
socialism
gender
Spiritualism
Poetry
Women's Rights
Paint
women's role
servants
political activity
Politics
Art
Marriage
Nuclear Family
Fathers
poetry
father
church
marriage

Keywords

  • socialism
  • spiritualism
  • gender
  • Victorian Birmingham
  • Edwardian Birmingham
  • automatic writing
  • woman's creative powers
  • female political activity

Cite this

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Co-operation and co-authorship : automatic writing, socialism and gender in late Victorian and Edwardian Birmingham. / Edwards, Sarah.

In: Women's Writing, Vol. 15, No. 3, 12.2008, p. 371-389.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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