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Annie Besant
Annie Besant is fascinating if only for the amazing amount she managed to cram into her life. After leaving her strict clergyman husband (who denied her access to her child), Annie Besant joined the Free Thought society. She then published an early book on birth control, which was branded obscene, before taking on the cause of the Bryant and May Match Girls and organising their strike in 1888. In 1889 she became one of the first women to sit on a school board.

After converting to Theosophy she moved to India, where she championed Indian home rule while still making time to return to London to address a suffragette rally. She was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1917 and died in Madras in 1933, where many streets still bear her name.

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