Both suffragists and anti-suffragists laid claim to the mantle of empire. This chapter outlines the general imperial contours of the suffrage debate, and examines male definitions of an imperialist anti-suffrage agenda, before turning to the leading imperialist women. The anti-suffragism of Violet Markham, Gertrude Bell, Margaret Jersey, Ethel Colquhoun, Mary Kingsley, and Flora Shaw was closely related to their views on empire and their relationships with male imperialists. These relationships varied between imperial hero-worship (Markham and Bell), imperial wifehood (Jersey and Colquhoun), and the more independent status of Kingsley and Shaw as imperial celebrities with a high public profile and a circle of male imperialist friends. The chapter concludes with an account of the leading female imperialist associations in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, and their connections to the anti-suffrage cause.
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