Political Activists and Professional Women: the Extraordinary Lives of Elise Bowerman and Chrystal Macmillan

This talk will investigate the extraordinary lives of both women, from their achievements of educational firsts, to their activism during the votes for women campaign, their wartime work, and their careers as early women barristers. In doing so, it will show the impact of their lifelong feminist activism.

Chrystal Macmillan and Elsie Bowerman were both born during Queen Victoria’s reign. At this time, girls’ access to education was substandard, women were barred from a number of careers considered ‘unfeminine’, and all women and many men could not vote. By the time of their deaths, many of these gendered barriers to success had been challenged and broken down.

Laura Noakes completed her PhD at the Open University. Her research examined the relationship between the women’s suffrage movement and early women lawyers through detailed contextual consideration of two women: Elsie Bowerman and Chrystal Macmillan. She now works as a Research Assistant at the Devil’s Porridge Museum.

This event will be held via Zoom and a joining link will be sent on the day.

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