The academic study of International Relations (IR) emerged in the context of transnational networks of scholars, diplomats, politicians, and activists. Contrary to conventional wisdom, women belonged to these networks in various capacities and, crucially, contributed to the intellectual formation of the discipline. Whether as members of pressure groups, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), as independent authors or academics, they discussed all major issues of IR. Drawing on a range of international authors – including Anna B. Eckstein, Agnes Headlam-Morley, Lucy Mair, Margery Perham, Helena Swanwick, and Louise Weiss – this article recovers the intellectual substance of their work, arguing that it constitutes a genuinely feminist approach to IR. Early feminist IR authors emphasised the interests of women, children, and other marginalised groups, they demanded female representation in government and diplomacy, they condemned imperialism and racism, opposed military capitalism, employed religious, emotional, and universalist rhetoric, and advocated the role of education. Despite widespread male domination, women taught at universities, published in academic journals, spoke at conferences, and organised international summer schools. This article explores the origins of feminist IR scholarship and contextualises this body of thought within the revisionist history of IR.