Exhibition showcases early New Zealand women writers in suffrage tribute

By Heritage Collections, Dunedin Public Libraries | Posted: Monday July 30, 2018

The latest Reed Gallery exhibition at Dunedin Public Library showcases early women writers and other creative women of the times to complement the story of the womens suffrage movement.

The exhibition features books starting from the 1860s by women whose writings bore a distinctly British flavour, and popular writings from the 1870s offering a vivid portrayal of colonial life.

Many women writers from the 1880s onwards were known supporters of women’s suffrage, including Thorpe Talbot, Edith Searle Grossman, Jessie Mackay and Blanche Baughan.

Strong feminist convictions are apparent in the novels and newspaper columns of Louisa Alice Baker (writing as Alien). A steadfast advocate of women’s participation in public life was Edith Howes, who taught natural and scientific themes via children’s literature.

Creative women in different fields, such as bookbinder Eleanor Joachim, writer and botanist Ellen Wright Blackwell, and teacher and artist Emily Cumming Harris, also feature.

Texts relating to the suffrage movement itself include the temperance periodicals Prohibitionist and Direct Veto Advocate and Temperance Standard. Books pertaining to persons or organisations involved in the suffrage movement also feature.

The Reed Gallery is located on the Third Floor of the City Library. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Voices and Votes: A Tribute to Women’s Suffrage

17 August to 2 December 2018, Reed Gallery

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