Elizabeth Robins

Elizabeth Robins (August 6, 1862 – May 8, 1952) was an actress, playwright, novelist, and suffragette.Robins realised her income from acting was not stable enough to carry her. While Robins was busy being a successful actress, she had to leave England to look for her brother in Alaska, who had gone missing. Her experiences searching for her brother led her to write her novels, Magnetic North (written in 1904) and Come and Find Me (1908). Before this, she had written novels such as George Mandeville’s Husband (1894), The New Moon (1895), Below the Salt and Other Stories (1896) and several others under the name of C. E. Raimond. She explained her use of a pseudonym as a means of keeping her acting and writing careers separate but gave it up when the media reported that Robins and Raimond were the same. She enjoyed a long career as a fiction and nonfiction writer.In her biography of Elizabeth Robins, Staging a Life, Angela John says, “It is possible to trace in Elizabeth’s writing from 1890s onwards an emerging feminist critique, clearly, but only partly, influenced by the psychological realism of Ibsen, which would find most confident expression in 1907 in her justly celebrated novel The Convert”. Robins’ main character, Vida, speaks to “male politicians and social acquaintances”, something very different from what the women of Robins’ time did – something very reminiscent of one of Ibsen’s ‘new women.’ Adapted from this novel is, Elizabeth Robins’ most famous play, Votes for Women! The first play to bring the “street politics of women’s suffrage to the stage”, Votes for Women! led to a flourish of suffrage drama. Elizabeth Robins first attended “open-air meetings of the suffrage union” when the Women’s Social and Political Union moved its headquarters from Manchester to London in 1906. It was then that she “abandoned” the current play she was writing and worked to complete the very first suffrage drama. “The more Robins became immersed in the work, the more she became converted to the cause”.(from Wikipedia)
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