University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Writing the Web: Letters from the Women's Peace Movement

posted on 2023-06-07, 22:15 authored by Margaretta JollyMargaretta Jolly
I discuss two of the many intriguing letters written out of the Greenham Common women's peace campaign, a letter from Ann Pettitt of 17 Sept 1981 to the BBC trying to persuade them to televise a debate between the women and the then Defence Secretary John Nott, and an anonymous chain letter later circulated by women at the base calling for the famous 'Embrace the Base' action on 12 December 1982. These letters respectively represent different ends of the political spectrum that informed the protest. In some ways these are expressed in the very genre of political letter each represents, the petition to a public representative in contrast with the missive sent to friends asking them to come to a demonstration. Although both kinds of letters played crucial parts in sustaining political momentum, largely behind the scenes, generally the shift was from the first stance to the second. As political rhetoric, such letters can be seen as symptoms of the changing political model within the women's peace movement itself, in which lobbying the state was rejected for a vision of an alternative public sphere altogether.


Publication status

  • Published


Raw Nerve Books

Book title

The Feminist Seventies

Place of publication




Department affiliated with

  • English Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research Publications


Chapter in Free Access Web Book,

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


Ann Kaloski, Helen Graham, Emma Robertson, Ali Neilson

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected