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Buddy Reads > Suffragette: My Own Story (July 2018)

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments A couple of us agreed to read and discuss Suffragette: My Own Story, by Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British Suffragette movement, starting on or around July 1. The Kindle version is free on Amazon. Anyone interested in joining us?

As a teaser, below is the beginning of a review from one of my GR friends, which review prompted me to nominate Suffragette earlier this year for one of our monthly reads.


It is a memoir written in 1914, after the outbreak of war in Europe, for an American audience, in order to raise funds for the cause, on the up side this means that Pankhurst explains aspects of the British political system and the history of the movement for women's suffrage which may well be obscure not only to the American of 1914 but also to the contemporary reader (curiously at that period if a MP was appointed a Minister it triggered a by-election allowing constituency voters a veto or to endorse the decision). On the downside it is narrowly political book (for example she does not mention the death of her husband who had been a supporter of women's suffrage and had defended them in court, nor does she mention her withdrawal from the Labour Party in 1907) and designed to serve the ends of the movement which she founded, the Women's Social and Political Union, better known as the Suffragettes as they were dubbed by the Daily Mail which even then delighted in attempting to belittle and demean those who disagreed with it's editorial line.


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments I’d love to join.


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "I’d love to join."

Wonderful.


message 4: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Looking forward to reading this!


message 5: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
I would like to buddy read this but I do have several books I need to read first. I even downloaded the free kindle book wanting to participate. Have fun reading!


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Charlene wrote: "I would like to buddy read this but I do have several books I need to read first. I even downloaded the free kindle book wanting to participate. Have fun reading!"

Great! I hope your prior reads are all good ones.


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?


message 8: by Cam (last edited Jul 02, 2018 07:08AM) (new)

Cam | 116 comments Carol wrote: "I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?"


I've never read Uncle Tom's Cabin (or if I did I have no recollection of it) - is it just really racist? One of the reasons for Emmeline's split with her daughter Sylvia was the latter's disagreement with her mother's 'white middle class women show the way' take on activism and her support for the 'white man/woman's burden'. I can't remember the exact quote but during her North America speaking tour she told African Americans the best way to help themselves was just to support whatever the white women were doing............................ Sylvia on the other hand was an ardent anti-imperialist who thought working-class women and people of colour should decide on their own campaigns. Her own account of The Suffragette Movement: An Intimate Account Of Persons And Ideals is available for free on projectgutenberg (and Kindle). I can't quite face 600 more pages on the suffrage movement yet but this review brings hers and her mother's books in contrast http://writingcities.com/2015/10/13/s.... Or an interesting discussion about her here (also available as part of the Bishopsgate Institute 'podcast' series of recorded talks): http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/audios.....

Going back to Beecher, I knew that participation in the abolitionist movement and other socio-political causes (education, marriage and custody rights, sexual health, etc.) allowed for the building of the networks and expertise which facilitated the suffrage movement in the UK, despite the fact that most of the women who had taken part in earlier campaigns were often strongly anti-suffrage themselves. I just hadn't realised that came from bedtime stories!?


message 9: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Also, today marks 90 years to the day since ALL PEOPLE over the age of 21 got equal voting rights. In 1918 only wealthy (property-owning) women over 30 got the vote, i.e. a tiny minority.

In case people are interested in the wider context or on different perspectives on the movement:
** Royal Holloway uni did a series of videos on the context, people and actions of the suffragettes and suffragists (including all the pesky acronyms): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOtkD...
** the Same Sh!t Different Century podcast presents a different actor or topic each episode, from Sophia Duleep Singh to militant tactics or force feeding. It's informal in style but based on research (and actually references the books it is based on) which makes a nice change from other podcasts https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/sa...

And now I will stop spamming ;)


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?"

I've never read Uncle To..."


I read Uncle Tom's Cabin when I was 14 - 15 years old and it was a game-changer. To put it in perspective, it impacted me the way some people talk about being impacted by various Ayn Rand novels. Today it is disfavored for a few reasons - namely the character of Uncle Tom and the religious underpinning of many of its characters' actions and thinking, but I'd strongly disagree with anyone who considers it racist on the whole. Its target audience was white (probably Americans) of the time and it was the first widely distributed novel to describe the horrors of slavery -- rape, separation of families, powerlessness, forced illiteracy, murder, re-capture of escaped slaves, capture and enslavement of freed men, among them -- to those who were ignorant of them. There's no humor or lightness in it and, while it's been a few decades I can't imagine any material there that could be rendered suitable for bedtime stories no matter how one spins it.

Thanks for sharing those links and the background on her daughter and her daughter's philosophy -- I'll be digging into them this afternoon.

It's really interesting to me that Pankhurst fell into the trap of thinking that women of color should just follow her/her similarly situated friends' lead on political issues that impacted women of color differently, or that their ideas and leadership weren't equal to her own. You'd think she might have observed the irony of her thinking given her observations about male suffrage supporters, but I suppose not.

I did very much enjoy the passage I read last night where she comments on the male agricultural labourers winning their suffrage through violence protest and threats of more, and that going along as helpful admins had no chance of political success. It immediately reminded me of Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

"... My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never.' "


King's full letter is available here:
https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles...


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Also, today marks 90 years to the day since ALL PEOPLE over the age of 21 got equal voting rights. In 1918 only wealthy (property-owning) women over 30 got the vote, i.e. a tiny minority.

In case ..."


Cam - this is awesome! Not at all spamming. Thank you for sharing this. I think many residents of both the US and Great Britain tend to mistakenly think these voting rights battles were about convincing white males that people of color and women were sufficiently educated, knowledgeable, intelligent to vote, rather than focusing on the belief of white male property owners that only property owners had a right to govern, since -- before federal income taxes were a thing - property owners paid the lions' share of the taxes that funded local, state and federal governments. It was never about voting competency, and always about retaining the exclusive power of the (perceived) payor to direct the priorities of governmental authorities and to limit demands on their pocketbooks by (again, their belief) non-payors. *back down off my soap box now*


message 12: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Off-topic, I am a big fan of Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May detective novels and had no idea his lead characters' names were taken from a match factory, mentioned early on in this book. Which caused me to check out the wiki for the Bryant and May (match) Factory and learn about the London match women and girls strike of 1888. The details and work conditions are worth reading about, if you're interested. Also, the Salvation Army opened up a competing match factory to solve working conditions? I had no idea that they ever engaged in commercial actions of that sort and have gained additional respect for them as an org:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_...


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?"

I've never read Uncle To..."


At the writingcities blog to which you linked, there is this quote:

"Class would continue to be a lever the government would use to drive women apart — as would the lack of respect from the middle and upper classes towards the other."

Truth.


message 14: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Thanks for correcting me on Uncle Tom's Cabin. I'm afraid I had let my suspicions of Emmeline Pankhurst colour my impressions of what the book must be like. Absolutely fascinating to hear of families with such commitment to social justice that they would read stories with depth and purpose even to the poor sods with ovaries...

I did not know much about the Salvation Army either, so Part 1 dropped a few interesting factual crumbs - thanks for offering some more! I only learnt about Annie Besant a few weeks ago and I'm still astounded that we never learn about all these incredible women or social movements. Although I did not realise how tightly connected a lot of these organisations and individuals were...


message 15: by Cam (last edited Jul 05, 2018 01:03PM) (new)

Cam | 116 comments Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?"

I've never r..."


Great quote. And it goes back to your earlier point, with socio-economic stratification being reproduced through men and women's everyday behaviours and actions, reinforcing the hold of the property-owning classes. Emmeline's clear distate of suffragettes being held in prison 'like common criminals' is in the same vein: we are better than them (mostly working-class girls).

I've just finished Part 1 (it's a bit crazy with work this week so I'm a bit slow) and I've been wondering about the fact that Emmeline doesn't actually name very many women. Is it because she is protecting them (which before they turned to violent action does not seem necessary) or because she just doesn't know their names? Has she just not bothered learning any names apart from the leaders? And why is Annie Kenney constantly being referred to as 'a girl' and not 'a woman'? I'm enjoying the read so far but it has a definite patronising tinge to it... until you get to the paragraph on justifying autocratic methods, which is so puny as to be laughable.


message 16: by Carol (last edited Jul 05, 2018 06:24PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "I’m starting this tonight.

Early on she mentions her mother using Uncle Tom's Cabin as a frequent source of bedtime stories.

Wait. For real?"..."


You’re not slow at all.

I almost excused her for using “girl”, thinking that maybe feminist thinking hadn’t gotten that far by 1910, but it was probably a stretch on my part.

That’s a great point about the rare identification of her colleagues. She gets a little better in Part II when protesters start getting arrested and choosing to serve time in jail rather than pay fines. She names quite a few. Honestly, her ego and self-satisfaction seem to parallel many leaders of similar social and environmental justice efforts. There are the workers and protesters, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the leaders who are too valuable to get their hands dirty or risk harm to their persons :)

Which leads me to the highly amusing moment In Part II (24% if you’re reading on Kindle) where Pankhurst addresses that question:

It may be asked why neither of these [highly risky, certain to lead to jail] deputations was led by me personally. The reason is that I was needed in another capacity, that of leader and supervisor of the suffrage forces in the field....

She is quite the committed windbag, God bless her.


message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments This really is a fun and educational read. I had no idea it would be this accessible and often amusing, although Emmeline is no doubt turning over in her grave to hear me say it.


message 18: by Cam (last edited Jul 06, 2018 11:20PM) (new)

Cam | 116 comments Hahahahahahahaha what a quote. Her writing is quite funny, and I love her wry and acerbic asides despite the fact that she thinks herself so important.
The books reminds me of Harriet Harman's autobiography A Woman's Work. It is a fascinating insight into the actions and debates of earlier feminist campaigns, but I do spend a lot of time with my eyebrows raised wondering if blinkers and an inflated sense of self are necessary attributes for a career in politics...
On a slightly different note, I still wonder how she became the embodiment of the fight for equal suffrage... There has been a statue of her behind parliament since 1930, whereas it took until 2018 to have one of Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, even though she has one of the main feminist organisation named after her. And yet I'd never heard of Annie Besant (not suffrage-related, but an incredible social activist and politician) or Sylvia Pankhurst......... I find the randomness of mythification/heroification processes fascinating.


message 19: by Mizzou (last edited Jul 06, 2018 07:13PM) (new)

Mizzou | 177 comments Reading your comments about the buddy read about the suffragettes has been interesting . . . . especially the one about Mrs. P. being "a committed windbag, God bless her". Some of those other 'pioneer feminists' would be interesting to read about, too. One whose own words we have is Margaret Sanger, who strove to promote the practice of contraception as a right for women who would choose it in certain life circumstances. That old "Comstock law" sure held on for a helluva long time in the USA. That law made it a crime to teach or inform anyone about contraception. Such a vile criminal Margaret was!
The book is entitled, simply, "The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger.


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I can’t think of Sanger without recalling her belief in and support of negative eugenics for those she deemed “unfit.” But we can agree to disagree about whether that’s a blemish on an otherwise solid contribution to good things for women or, in my view, so heinous that I have difficulty appreciating her other activities.

It is interesting that they were both active at roughly the same time, and Sanger ran off to England in 1914, when this book was published.


message 21: by Carol (last edited Jul 09, 2018 06:31PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I’m at 33%. Pankhurst is in jail and : (a) complaining about the smell, and (b) wishing they would give her her FUR COAT, since she’s chilly.

She continue to amuse me, particularly as I read about her going after Churchill. What a fascinating pair of steel spines to take each other on.


message 22: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they are fun to read and absolutely fascinating in terms of legal militancy tactics. Maybe it's because I expected a more personal account (or because norms and expectations of personal accounts have shifted in the last 100years), but I'm finding her account of the movement quite generic and bland, I guess because she wasn't actually there for most of it. There are no explanations as to why there are permanently throngs of women around parliament whenever they go for a petition or an action. Who organised them? Who were these women?


message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they are fun to read and absolutely fascinating in terms..."

You have a great point there, Cam. She mentions all the worker bees and the total headcount of several of the larger protests but doesn’t personalize those events, although she’s proud of the support the numbers indicate.


message 24: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they are fun to read and absolutely fascinat..."

So far she only episodically acknowledges that she is recounting events she did not participate in. At the end of Book 2 Ch 1 she says "I was not present at this session [of the women's parliament], nor had I been present at the first one. I was working in a by-election in great industrial centres". Christabel was chairing the sessions so I'm assuming we are getting her view of the proceedings, but I would have been interested to hear more about Emmeline's specific activities.

I loved her comment that "Those of my readers who are unable to connect the word 'militancy' with anything milder than arson are invited to reflect that within the first two months of the year 1907 the English government sent to prison 130 women whose 'militancy' consisted merely of trying to carry a resolution from a hall to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons." (Book 2 Ch 1). Suffragettes are often reduced to their more violently militant later years but just women daring to claim equality with men was considered militant. I can't find the passage anymore but in Book 1 she mentions the difference in press coverage and political reaction to male vs. female demonstrations.

So far she has not discussed female opposition to equal suffrage, apart from a brief anecdote when a deputation goes to Asquith's house (Book 1 Ch 4): "Three other women were arrested, one because, in spite of the police, she succeeded in ringing Mr Asquith's doorbell and another because she protested against the laughter of some ladies who watched the affair from a drawing-room window. She was a poor working-woman, and it seemed to her a terrible thing that rich and protected women should ridicule a cause that to her was so profoundly serious." I wonder whether she will address the issue at some point. There was strong opposition from some of the prominent social reformers of the Victorian age (and Victoria herself was obviously notoriously against equal voting rights for 'the feeble sex'), but I wonder how she dealt with opposing views from the gender she is fighting on behalf of.


message 25: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments I'm also currently reading Bad Girls by Caitlin Davies, which has three chapters about the suffragettes and Holloway Prison (the most famous prison for women, shut down in 2016. We hear about a few of the women Emmeline mentions (like Teresa Billington, Flora Drummond, Annie Kenney...) but also about other suffragettes and how their fight transformed prison and political life. I was intrigued by Emmeline's insistence at being treated as a political prisoner and one of the chapters deal with this question. There's also a funny quote from the governor at the time (Richard Quinton), who didn't like the suffragettes and thought prison wasn't build for them because unlike the other convicts who "had no complaints", suffragettes were "educated convicts, who write books and magazines articles after their release, depicting the horrors of penal servitude and the hardships and grievances they experienced in prison, and denouncing the wrong-headedness and barbarity of the penal system". (That does mean that someone somewhere disobeyed Emmeline's orders to only focus on suffrage....) And just in case the class aspect wasn't clear enough, he continues by saying that they had "a standpoint of their own which always seems to imply that the system had been designed for people of their class. This is far from being the case."

The three chapters on the suffragettes (40pages) are available here https://framadrop.org/r/z02ZjTql3K#wM... in low quality, but I really recommend the book as an insight into female imprisonment (especially in Britain but a lot of the questions it raises are common across the global north).


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Very interesting, Cam. Thanks for providing that link, too. I definitely want to read it.

I’ve repeatedly heard, but have no idea if it’s truth, that —in Britain, the issue of class always prevails over race, and in the US, it’s the opposite.

Even Emmeline complained about the prisons. I’m not sure what they were thinking jails were like. Even if they had no friends or acquaintances who had visited them, Dickens’ and Dumas’ (yes, France, but hardly different) descriptions, albeit fictional, were at hand.


message 27: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they are fun to read and absol..."

This is a great point. She hasn’t acknowledged any female dissent. But then this book was targeted toward persuading American women to join the movement. Right? (Fair and balanced, ‘twas not.)


message 28: by Cam (last edited Jul 12, 2018 11:30PM) (new)

Cam | 116 comments Carol wrote: "Very interesting, Cam. Thanks for providing that link, too. I definitely want to read it.

I’ve repeatedly heard, but have no idea if it’s truth, that —in Britain, the issue of class always prevail..."


Can't really comment on the US/UK differences as I only know one side of the coin. Both are linked, obviously, as class affects performances of race and race increases your likelihood of being and remaining in a certain class, and of being perceived of a certain class. To me the main difference seems to be the overarching social discourse to justify inequality: in the US it's race, in the UK class. It doesn't mean the other aspects don't exist or don't impact, just that they're not as present in people's conscious explanations of the world. I think what also sometimes confuse people is that symbolic capital (economic capital, social capital, cultural capital) takes different forms depending on the cultural context, so how you show class/prestige is different and people struggle to read those across the Atlantic and conclude that "it doesn't exist". It's already very different between France, Germany and the UK for instance, and even more so with the US.
The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands is so far the best example I've found of how differently racism and race inequality is expressed in the US and the UK. In the UK it's all about being condescending and patronising. And now I'm going to stop before I descend into an angry tirade...


message 29: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they are fun to re..."

Yes, she keeps referring to explaining things to Americans. Does you version has an introduction explaining this? Mine doesn't mention who the intended audience is or whether this was a commission.

I'm at another courtroom scene, they're definitely the highlight of this book. I can see that she was a good public speaker...


message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Cam wrote: "I've only just finished ch4 of part 2 so I think we're around the same spot. I think the description of court battles are her strong points, they..."

I don’t think my copy includes any intro material, but I’ll find the resource from I got that tidbit.

In the meantime, I bumped into this list from The Indeoendent of top (UK) suffragette reads which I thought was most interesting. Plus it includes more details on the Pankhurst family relationships..

https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/...


message 31: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Cam wrote: "Carol wrote: "Very interesting, Cam. Thanks for providing that link, too. I definitely want to read it.

I’ve repeatedly heard, but have no idea if it’s truth, that —in Britain, the issue of class ..."


Well said, and agreed. I’ve encountered the patronizing treatment twice and was keenly aware it was immune to fact or persuasion :)


message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments @lisa, any thoughts or reactions so far?


message 33: by Carol (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:15PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I’m at 43% and encountered, in the section just after Mr. Aswith’s extraordinary protection, this:

The Lancet, perhaps the best known medical journal in the language, published a long list of opinions by distinguished physicians and surgeons who condemned the practice [of forced feeding] as applied to the suffrage prisoners as unworthy of civilization.

Wait. Is forced feeding just fine, medically, for other prisoners? If, yes, I’m not certain why The Lancet would have published this statement unless it was an op-ed or paid ad. There’s nothing “medical” about it.

Harrumph. Perhaps more coffee is required.


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments I only started last week, so haven’t read comments above.

I loved the image of Emmeline and her sister as girls marching in their skirts and petticoats for the liberal party.

I didn’t realize that the idea of disrupting the house with comments was British. Happens in SA all the time.


message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Carol wrote: "This really is a fun and educational read. I had no idea it would be this accessible and often amusing, although Emmeline is no doubt turning over in her grave to hear me say it."

I've also found some parts amusing. I'm listening to this as an audio book and the reader gives amusing parts a certain flair. Thought that they were meant as tongue in cheek.


message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Traveling to the UK in August. Plan to go to the Pankhurst memorial in London.


message 37: by Carol (last edited Jul 16, 2018 05:52PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "I only started last week, so haven’t read comments above.

I loved the image of Emmeline and her sister as girls marching in their skirts and petticoats for the liberal party.

I didn’t realize tha..."


That and breaking windows, apparently!

We’ve commenting as we read and haven’t gotten that far, so no “spoilers” in sight, if there could be. I’d forgotten the girls in their petticoats and that’s a great observation. What a picture.

That’s awesome about your trip. Share photos if you like of the memorial. I didn’t realize there was one. Are her daughters also memorialized?


message 38: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I’m at 55% and Emmeline is in the US in 1911. She says:

In the American prisons, much as they lacked in some essentials, I saw no solitary confinement, no rule of silence, no deadly air of officialdom. The food was good and varied, and above all there was an air of kindness and good feeling between the officials and the prisoners that is almost wholly lacking in England.

I keep shaking my head in bewilderment. Did they take Emmeline to a fake prison? I don’t doubt the authenticity of her experience but cannot square it with the reality of early 20th century American prisons.


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Carol wrote: "That’s awesome about your trip. Share photos if you like of the memorial. I didn’t realize there was one. Are her daughters also memorialized?"

The memorial is to Emmeline and Christabel.

https://www.londonremembers.com/memor...

This is what I could find about Sylvia

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/londo...


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments I'm about 30% through.

(view spoiler)


message 41: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Carol wrote: " The Lancet, perhaps the best known medical journal in the language, published a long list of opi..."

Just did a Google Scholar search. Lots has been written in the Lancet about the Suffragettes which I can access from my university library. Will post links when I have reached this part of the book.


message 42: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "Carol wrote: "That’s awesome about your trip. Share photos if you like of the memorial. I didn’t realize there was one. Are her daughters also memorialized?"

The memorial is to Emmeline and Christ..."


Thanks for these links, Lisa. Much appreciated.


message 43: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "I'm about 30% through.

Just read about the meeting in Northumberland and the attack on Emmeline by young Liberal yard workers. It struck me that Emmeline is not a young woman and could have been m..."


I actually thought it was really interesting that Emmeline spends so much time in the book on the fact that they should have been treated as political prisoners and that, such treatment would have produced a different result. In the US, at least, it's not as though we have separate facilities or systems. Maybe they maintained separate cells or wings in the UK for political prisoners? I wasn't clear if her point was that political prisoners would be separated from the common population, or be in better cells, or simply have different rules applied to them in terms of silence, apparel, et al.

Is there a difference in South Africa, Lisa, if you know between how political prisoners are housed and treated, vs. others waiting for trial or serving sentences?


message 44: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "Carol wrote: " The Lancet, perhaps the best known medical journal in the language, published a long list of opi..."

Just did a Google Scholar search. Lots has been written in the Lancet about the ..."


Very interesting. I hope they were equally interested in the health issues of the prison population that wasn't upper middle class :)


message 45: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Lisa unfortunately the memorial's not much to see so don't get your hopes up... It's tucked away behind parliament, but the brand new statue to Fawcett and the suffrage movement is on parliament Square and a bit more visible. If you're interested I recommend the guidebook called Women's London: A Tour Guide to Great Lives (available in the London section of the big bookshops like foyle's), which has a good guided walk around Westminster. The Bishopsgate Institute is another great place, they hold many archives related to women's activism.


message 46: by Carol (last edited Jul 19, 2018 08:29PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments I finished. I wish there was an epilogue of some sort to wrap it up, but alas there is not.


message 47: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Carol wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I'm about 30% through.

Just read about the meeting in Northumberland and the attack on Emmeline by young Liberal yard workers. It struck me that Emmeline is not a young woman and coul..."


My understand is that they were being tried by local magistrates which were easily influenced. . As political prisoners they would have been tried by a judge and jury who we assume would be less easily influenced.

There are differences in SA, depending on the offense. I read Madiba's Long Walk to Freedom about 5 years ago and my legal details are sketchy now.

Any lawyers out there?


message 48: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 304 comments Cam wrote: "Lisa unfortunately the memorial's not much to see so don't get your hopes up... It's tucked away behind parliament, but the brand new statue to Fawcett and the suffrage movement is on parliament Sq..."

Thanks. I'll check out the guidebook.


message 49: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 707 comments Lisa wrote: "Carol wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I'm about 30% through.

Just read about the meeting in Northumberland and the attack on Emmeline by young Liberal yard workers. It struck me that Emmeline is not a young ..."


Thanks for the context, Lisa.


message 50: by Cam (new)

Cam | 116 comments Lisa wrote: "Carol wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I'm about 30% through.

Just read about the meeting in Northumberland and the attack on Emmeline by young Liberal yard workers. It struck me that Emmeline is not a young ..."


Thanks Lisa, that's helpful to know. I wasn't sure whether it was just a label (having their actions recognised as political) or whether other considerations would have come into force. It seems that once in prison they also had more privileges than "common criminals", but I'm not sure how systematic that was.

I finished a couple of weeks ago but haven't been online much, but I thought Emmeline's own conclusions about her book were quite apt: "Other histories of the militant movement will undoubtedly be written (...) But perhaps this one, hastily prepared as it has been, will give the reader of the future a clearer impression of the strenuousness and the desperation of the conflict, and also something of the heretofore undreamed courage and fighting strength of women, who, having learned the joy of battle, lose all sense of fear and continue up to and past the gates of death, never flinching at any step of the way". Basically: an interesting personal-but-trying-to-be-general account of the movement as she saw it, with added violins. I definitely found it a worthwhile read to understand a bit more of perspectives and justifications at the time, but it felt very fragmented and narrow throughout.


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