About this book
The fin de siècle was a time of social and cultural upheaval, with many women living more adventurous and defiant lives than their mothers would ever have dreamed possible. This is the true story of an Englishwoman who staged her own death and re-invented herself in the far colony of New Zealand, in the early 1900s. Grace Oakeshott's life is revealed through the reform movements of the period, including education for girls, ethical socialism, Victorian evangelicalism, and the changing nature of marriage. As a social activist, Grace rubbed shoulders with many notable figures, including William Morris, H. G. Wells, and Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Jocelyn Robson uses a rich collection of historical sources, including contemporary fiction and social commentary, archive documents and interviews with surviving family members. Through the lives of Grace and those close to her we discover what drove people to act in extraordinary (as well as ordinary) ways.
Women's history feminism transnational history utopianism First World War history marriage reform women