... 1919, the woman who'd been born Nancy Witcher Langhorne 40 years earlier in Danville, Virginia, but who's known now, on account of her 2d marriage, to millionaire Waldorf Astor, as Lady Astor, became the 1st woman elected to a seat that she would assume in the House of Commons. In so doing she assumed the seat of her husband, who'd moved on to the House of Lords. She was not the 1st woman ever elected to Britain's legislature, however; that honor belongs to the Countess Constance Markiewicz, inspiration of IntLawGrrls' own Fiona de Londras. As we've posted, Markiewicz refused to swear the oath of allegiance required in order to take the seat to which she'd been elected in 1918. Lady Astor (1923 illustration at right by John Singer Sargent), who served as a Conservative MP till 1945, was no shrinking violet either, as these quips of hers demonstrate:
The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything or nothing.
I knew what kept me going -- I was an ardent feminist. I always knew we had more moral strength. I once said in the House: We've got moral strength and you've got immoral strength.
People who talk about peace are very often the most quarrelsome.
My vigor, vitality, and cheek repel me. I am the kind of woman I would run from.