Abstract: This article examines the work of three women—Giorgina Craufurd Saffi, Sara Levi Nathan, and Jessie White Mario—who were active in the transnational networks of Italian unification and Victorian feminism as a case study. It reveals that nineteenth-century feminists achieved their most radical and egalitarian goals by using more traditional, conservative, or elitist language. To do so it examines how these women created marriages based on the ideals of partnership and equality, participated in the campaigns against state-regulated prostitution, and claimed an active role in Italian revolutionary politics. This examination of their rhetorical strategies reveals their use of traditional discourses of domesticity and maternity as well as their leverage of Protestant and English superiority in Italy. Acknowledging the realistic limits of mid-nineteenth century feminism, however, this article claims that we must focus not just on their language but also on the radical and feminist activities they engaged in using that language.