The Freewoman was a feminist weekly published between November 23, 1911 and October 10, 1912 and edited by Dora Marsden and Mary Gawthorpe.

Although The Freewoman published articles on women's waged work, housework, motherhood, the suffrage movement, and literature, its notoriety and influence rested on its frank discussions of sexuality, morality, and marriage. The Freewoman urged tolerance for homosexuality, advocated for free love, and encouraged women to remain unmarried.

The Freewoman's editorial stance distinguished it sharply from the attitude of suffragists like Millicent Fawcett who was so disturbed at the journal's approach to sexuality that she tore the first issue into little pieces.

In March 1912 Gawthorpe resigned due to poor health and disagreements with Marsden. In September 1912, W H Smith refused to carry The Freewoman and in October 1912, the journal folded.

Although its circulation probably never exceeded 200, it had a significant influence in Modernist circles. Among its contributors were Rebecca West, H. G. Wells, Edward Carpenter, and Guy Aldred.

In June 1913 Marsden started The New Freewoman which was more concerned with literary modernism than feminism and was funded by Harriet Shaw Weaver. In 1914, The New Freewoman became The Egoist.


  • Doughan, David and Denise Sanchez, (1987) ‘’Feminist Periodicals’’ (ISBN 978-0814717981)
  • Bland, Lucy (1995) Heterosexuality, Feminism and The Freewoman Journal (Retrieved May 27, 2007)
  • The Freewoman, Facsimile Reprint of Volume 1 & 2 (47 issues), (ISBN 978-4-902454-27-7)

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