2019 marked the centenary of Nancy Astor’s election to the British Parliament becoming the first woman to take her seat and thus changing democracy forever. Astor was ‘An Unconventional MP’ and this collection considers the parliamentary politics and the gendered culture of the early C20th in which she operated. It engages with ways in which history has influenced the present, conceptualising a ‘future’ grounded in the gendered restrictions of the past. It considers how the identities of Astor and other women were constructed and deployed and how her career has generated gendered discourses on government, citizenship and transformation. This special collection is eclectic in its contributors and contributions; articles address a range of approaches to Astor and her period - new perspectives on Astor, and beyond engagement with Astor as an individual, consideration of issues of gender identity, difference and representation. They provide a new voice and a new legacy. The Special Collection is edited by Dr Daniel Grey (Hertfordshire) and Dr Jacqui Turner (Reading). Grey is Head of History at Hertfordshire and has published extensively on women, crime and the state. Turner is Associate Professor of Modern British Political History and curator of the national Astor100 centenary programme. (Cover image Courtesy of The Box Plymouth in association with Astor100)

'An Unconventional MP': Nancy Astor, public women and gendered political culture

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Special Collections