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Nesta Webster: The Voice of Conspiracy

From: Journal of Women's History
Volume 17, Number 3, Fall 2005
pp. 81-104 | 10.1353/jowh.2005.0033

Abstract

Nesta Helen Webster (1876–1960) was one of the most influential conspiracy theorists of the twentieth century. Although an advocate of women's rights early in her life, her conviction that a vast and dangerous conspiracy threatened the British state and Christian civilization soon overshadowed these concerns. During her lifetime, she was a woman of considerable political influence, but she is perhaps even more influential today. Her books remain in print, and her work is a foundation of many far-right ideologies, including those of the John Birch Society and the Militia and Patriot movements. Webster's life and work are illustrative of the paradoxical position of women of the far right, both in the early twentieth century and today.