Reading in Public: Irene Longman and Citizenship


‘This essay describes the place of reading in the life of Irene Longman (1877-1962), the first woman elected to the Queensland parliament. It shows how Longman valued reading as a practice that enriched personal life, fostered civic virtue and defined a realm of citizenship for newly enfranchised women. Its profile of Longman’s public career highlights the connection between reading and rhetoric, the arts of persuasion and liberal democracy. It also draws attention to the importance of associational life in promoting women’s public participation.’ (Author’s introduction)

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Published 1 October 2012 in Volume 27 No. 3-4. Subjects: Citizenship, Literature & writers, Politicians, Reading, Social change.

Cite as: Ferres, Kay. ‘Reading in Public: Irene Longman and Citizenship.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 3/4, 2012, doi: 10.20314/als.136139611d.