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Showing posts from February, 2017

Flora Maguire-Tea Shops and Suffrage

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The third book of my Edwardian Cosy Mystery Series brings my heroine, Flora Maguire into contact with the Women’s Suffrage Movement. I thought I already knew something about the ‘Votes For Women’ cause, but I learned a great deal more.

By the late 19th Century, it was still not acceptable for a lady to dine alone in public, a taboo which most men were happy to perpetuate. The fact that public conveniences were unheard of also contrived to keep ladies at home. The first ‘convenience’ run by the Ladies Lavatory Company opened near Oxford Circus in 1884. 

When William Whitely opened his Whitely's department store in Bayswater in 1870, he applied for a licence to open a restaurant inside the store – and was refused on the grounds of its ‘potential for immoral assignations’.

Restaurants like the Holborn, the Criterion, and the Gaiety welcomed ladies, provided they were accompanied by a male escort, but only in designated dining areas. Simpsons of Piccadilly wouldn’t allow women into its g…

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