Tag Archives: WSPU

beyond ‘ecclesiastical millinery’ – Mildred Tuker

Feminist theology and scholarship are now widespread.  Yet they still have power both to inspire and unsettle.  How much more so was this true a hundred years or so ago?!  Lacking the substantial range and depth of feminist scholarship now … Continue reading

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finding Christ in prison – Helen Sprott and Fred Hankinson

Why did militant women’s disillusionment with the Church bring deliberate provocation and rage, and why was the Church made such a target (although far from the only one)? The answer lies partly in personal experiences, especially those of suffragette prisoners, … Continue reading

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the girl who slew the dragon – Christabel Pankhurst

A prominent feature of first-wave feminism was its spectacle, once it had the courage to break into public space.  A striking aspect was the frequent appearance in demonstrations of suffragists dressed as figures such as Joan of Arc, complete with … Continue reading

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salvos of the spirit – Emmeline Pankhurst

Sometimes a circuit breaker is needed to change the course of history, even in a great movement full of an immense variety of courage, intelligence and virtues.  For the women’s suffrage movement, such a catalyst was Emmeline Pankhurst.  If the … Continue reading

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force fed but free – Constance Lytton

Some of the most poignant and harrowing accounts of suffragette activity and suffering are found in the book Prisons and Prisoners, written by Constance Lytton and published in 1914.  It is witness to a remarkable gentle and compassionate woman who, … Continue reading

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‘shoulder to shoulder’ – Keir Hardie, the Snowdens and George Lansbury

The relationship between the labour and women’s movements has never been straightforward.  Apart from downright male hostility and resistance to women in ‘a man’s world’, trade union, labour and socialist leaders have sometimes subordinated women’s issues beneath others.  This was … Continue reading

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determination and diplomacy – Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Today’s leading UK campaigning organisation for women’s equality and rights (at home, work and in public life) is known as the Fawcett Society.  Its by-line includes ‘working for women’s rights since 1866’ with very good reason.  For its name and … Continue reading

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nonviolent militancy and Romanticism – Charlotte Despard

Perhaps it demands a real personality to shake the dust from tired complacency?! This does not necessarily require violent militancy however but only the creative imagination of a colourful soul… Charlotte Despard (1844-1939) was one of the most flamboyant figures … Continue reading

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‘a veritable princess of spirituality’ – Emily Wilding Davison

In a churchyard in the north-east English town of Morpeth lies a grave which marks the foremost ‘martyr’ of the women’s suffrage movement.  Inscribed on the memorial is the suffragette slogan ‘deeds not words’ and a comment on the woman … Continue reading

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