‘A Feminist Disciple of Nietzsche’: The Case of Dora Marsden’s Unstable Anarchism

Issue: 
Autumn 2017
Author(s): 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a considerable number of anarchists grappled with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. This article presents a highly peculiar reading of the German philosopher’s ideas by the radical suffragist and short time anarchist Dora Marsden. The adoption of concepts such as ‘master morality’, ‘genius’ or the critique of language enabled her to formulate a non-essentialist feminist identity. Failing to confront the elitism that haunts Nietzsche’s philosophy, however, Marsden’s anarchism eventually collapsed.

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Anarchist Studies Volume 25 No 2