Catherine Helen Spence

Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910) – Australia

Spence was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with her family during her teenage years. She worked as a governess and went on to write several works of fiction, becoming the first Australian female author to be published. Throughout her life, she was a literary critic and social commentator for several publications and helped to establish schools and orphanages.

Spence also became an enthusiast for electoral reform and proportional representation. In 1891 she joined the fight for female suffrage, becoming vice-president of the Women’s Suffrage League of South Australia. In 1897 Spence ran for the Federal Convention, becoming Australia’s first female political candidate. After her death, she was mourned as “The Grand Old Woman of Australia”.

Women over the age of 21 were granted the right to vote in Federal elections in 1902 and in all State elections by 1908; however, most “aboriginal natives” of Australia were not granted full voting rights until 1967.

 

Oil paint and embroidery on linen canvas.

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Dimensions 126 × 96 cm

£6,500

1 in stock

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