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Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels: How the Two Lives of Grace Oakeshott Defined an Era

Andrews, Maggie (2018) Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels: How the Two Lives of Grace Oakeshott Defined an Era. Women's History Review. ISSN 0961-2025 Online: 1747-583X (In Press)

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Abstract

Jocelyn Robson’s engaging book focuses on the life story of Grace Oakeshott who, on Tuesday 27 August in 1907, left a pile of clothes on a deserted beach in Brittany and swum into the sea. The newspapers reported Grace’s death four days later and referred to her contribution to the Women’s Industrial Council and her role in setting up the first Trade School for Girls in London for waistcoat making. At the age of 35, Grace, a respectable middle-class married woman from Coulsdon in Surrey, also a career woman who had studied at Newman College Cambridge, faked her own death. She did so in order to start a new life with her lover, Walter Reeve, on the other side of the world, far away from family and friends. After travelling for many months, first to Australia and then onwards to New Zealand, the couple arrived in Wellington where Walter developed a career as a doctor and Grace gave birth to, and raised, three children. Thanks to subterfuge and changing their names, the pair was able to disguise their unmarried status and hide their past lives, thus enabling Grace to become a pillar of the different communities in which they lived. Grace played an active role in voluntary work to support the Allies in the First World War, became a stalwart of the Women’s Institute movement and was active in the Girl Guides.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: history, gender studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
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SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Karol Kosinski
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 13:09
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 13:09
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6348

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