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Rational Women

The Rational Women

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Rational Women

Sara Harris: On April 5th 1899, a woman took the stand as star witness for the prosecution in Regina v Sprague at the Kingston Quarter Sessions. The previous October the woman had been on a cycling trip in Surrey. Arriving for lunch at The Hautboy Hotel in the village of Ockham she had been refused entry to the hotel coffee-room because she was clad in ‘rationals’. Offended by the landlady’s offer of catering in the (less salubrious) hotel bar parlour, the woman had promptly turned tail and left in disgust. Unfortunately for Martha Sprague, landlady of The Hautboy Hotel, her disgruntled…

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