“Votes for Women” was not the only issue being discussed by Canterbury’s feminists of the 1890s.
Should women cycle and if so what should they wear, were also topics of debate.
Some women were brave enough to abandon their corsets and even wear knickerbocker costumes as they enjoyed the freedom that cycling and this new style of dress gave them.
Margaret Lovell-Smith, a local historian with a particular interest in the nineteenth century women’s movement, investigates early Christchurch’s Dress Reform Debate.
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Image credit: Christchurch City Library