Annie Besant Essay

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Quite possibly the most influential woman of her time and an avid supporter of worker’s rights, Annie Besant led an inspirational life. Born on 1st October 1847, Besant grew up in a middle class family of Irish descent. The death of her father when she was five years old left the family penniless. Her mother ran a boarding house for boys in an attempt to support the family, but could not support the young Annie. She persuaded a friend, Ellen Marryat, to care for the girl, and Marryat ensured Besant had a good education. During this time, Besant gained a powerful understanding of what an independent young woman could accomplish, as well as a sense of leadership. These became strong parts of Besant’s personality, and would influence her character throughout her entire life. When Besant was nineteen years old, she married twenty-six year old Frank Besant, a clergyman. At first, she was able to share her opinions and thoughts with her new husband. Frank soon became the Vicar of Libsley in Lincolnshire. After a couple of years, the Besant’s had two children, Arthur and Mabel. As time went on, the marriage became disastrous, with arguments ensuing over faith and independence. At the time, Annie Besant published short stories for children, and as the wife did not have the legal right to own property, the money Besant was earning went directly to her husband. By 1873 Annie and Frank Besant legally separated in London. After Annie Besant left her husband she began to doubt her faith and ended up completely rejecting Christianity. In 1847 Besant joined the secular society and became close to Charles Bradlaugh. Bradlaugh who was editor of the radical National Reformer and the leader of the secular movement gave Besant a job working for the National Reformer. Over the next few years Besant wrote numerous articles on issues such as marriage and women’s rights. She also
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