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Ray Strachey

John Simkin

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In 1913 Ray Strachey was elected chairman of the London Society for Women's Suffrage. In 1916 she was honorary parliamentary secretary of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies responsible for supervising the passage of the Qualification of Women Act. At the 1918 General Election she stood unsuccessfully for the House of Commons. Later she worked as political secretary to Nancy Astor, the first female MP.

In 1921 Strachey built a house in Fernhurst. The author, Helena Wojtczak, has pointed out: "She bought nine acres of land and built a house of pisé de terre (rammed earth). She named it Copse Cottage but it is known to this day as the Mud House. She installed an 80ft x 30ft pool (where she swam in the nude), and acquired WLA clothing - corduroy breeches, boots and a straw hat - to wear around her estate." Virginia Woolf was a frequent visitor.


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