Strachey, Ray

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Strachey, Ray

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June 4, 1887-July 16, 1940


Ray Strachey (born Rachel Pearsall Conn Costelloe) was a British writer, artist and politician. Born in England, she attended Cambridge and sat the mathematical tripos. She spent the majority of her life working towards the cause of Women's Suffrage and wrote extensively on this topic. She was the Parliamentary Secretary of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and worked closely with Dame Millicent Fawcett Garret. After the First World War and the passing of laws allowing women to stand in Parliament she ran, unsuccessfully, for Brentford and Chiswick in 1918, 1922 and 1923. When the first woman was elected to parliament (Nancy Astor), Ray became her Parliamentary Secretary. She also served as the head of the Women's Employment Federation and was a frequent contributor to the BBC. She was married to Oliver Strachey and together they had two children, Barbara, a writer, and Christopher, a computer scientist. Barbara studied in Vienna before taking her admittance exams for university where she was watched over by Irene Hancock. Ray's circle of friends included other women's rights activist such as her mother-in-law Jane Maria Strachey, as well as members of the Bloomsbury Group including her brother-in-law Lytton Strachey and her younger sister's husband Adrian Stephen and sister-in-law Virginia Woolf. Ray died in London in 1940.


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JB March 2019.




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