Introduction by Jane Marcus
The Convert, originally published in 1907, vividly brings to life an exciting and dangerous time in the struggle for women’s rights through the story of Vida Levering, an upper-class British woman converted to the working-class suffrage movement. Robins juxtaposes the witty dialogue of elegant drawing rooms with the rough-and-tumble outdoor meetings of Trafalgar Square.
"All of it comes from life, Elizabeth Robin's own, Christabel and Emmaline Pankhursts' and the women of all classes who made the suffrage movement work. . . it blurs the borders between art and propaganda, history and fiction . . . It is also a funny, moving, and beautifully structured novel."
"This novel presents the significance of class alliances in the suffrage movement and of sisterhood transcending class. It is a surprisingly contemporary work with realistic speeches as appropriate now as they were then."
"Three-quarters of a century after its first publication, The Convert reads as an extraordinary amalgam of fascinating elements. It offers the virtues of old-fashioned novels . . . while allowing women to break out of the constricted roles typical of such novels."