Sylvia Pankhurst: The Rebellious Suffragette

Sylvia Pankhurst: The Rebellious Suffragette

Language: English

Pages: 320


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The next few years mark the centenary of some of the biggest events which changed women’s right to vote, including the death of Emily Davison at the 1913 Derby and the First World War during which Sylvia's actions saved thousands of lives. Sylvia was the daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and younger sister of Christabel. She was also the rebel in the family and stood alongside her married lover, Keir Hardie, when he formed the Labour Party. When he died, she started travelling – in Moscow, she reprimanded Lenin about his view of Communism, became lovers with an Italian revolutionary and bore his son when she was 45.

She fought for Ethiopian independence and was given a state funeral after her death in 1960, in recognition of her importance to the Ethiopian cause. Fifty-four years later, a member of the House of Lords is campaigning for a statue of Sylvia Pankhurst to be erected opposite the Houses of Parliament, a long-deserved recognition of the importance of this rebellious Suffragette. Update of Shirley Harrison’s definitive study of the famous Suffragette, first published in 2004 but now with a new, original foreword by Sylvia Pankhurst’s son, Richard, updated text, interviews and all new images. Quotes and comments about Sylvia Pankhurst: * Emmeline Pankhurst – ‘that Scarlet woman’ * George Bernard Shaw – ‘queerest idiot genius of this age’ * Hitler had her on an arrest list for when he invaded Britain * Mussolini was watching her activities * Lenin – ‘Comrade Sylvia Pankhurst’s... wrong’ * Headline Daily Express, 1920 – ‘Sylvia’s World Revolution’ * Foreign Officer papers – ‘Sylvia Pankhurst is a blister’

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continued to edit his mother’s journal the Ethiopia Observer. Helen Pankhurst standing underneath her grandmother, Sylvia’s, pictures. Alula, who is now Dr Alula Pankhurst, Country Director of Young Lives Ethiopia, remembers their childhood with affection. We were given a great deal of freedom, and friends came to play. Possibly remembering his own, rather lonely, childhood with a very powerful mother, Dad tried not to over-influence us, but books were everywhere. From the beginning, he

she managed to achieve Grade II listing for Sylvia’s stone bomb, which was by then almost forgotten and overgrown. Soon after, the moss-covered bomb was stolen, pitched into Epping Forest, recovered, sand-blasted and replaced on its plinth where it remains today, an object of curiosity rather than veneration. The character of Churchill’s devoted constituency has inevitably changed. In 1965, the former wards of Woodford Green, South Woodford and The Broadway were merged to become part of the

going on a picnic, Mother, M. Dufaux and Mme Dufaux and the daughters of some friends of theirs are going in the motor car and the rest including two friends are to go on bicycles – I hope it will be fine. … Mother says will you make a parcel of ‘studios’ and put some drawings of your own in – some of your charcoal things etc. Also you must not ride too much on your bicycle … Love to Father and all of you. The telegram that his doctors had advised Dr Pankhurst to send his wife on 4 July

followed the tweed cap, and the trilby came later. A purple muffler, a red cravat or a kimono, he dressed for effect, sometimes padding around the House of Commons in sandals without socks. Small wonder he became known as ‘queer Hardie’. Many of his clothes were lovingly made by Lillie, and Sylvia often refers to them affectionately. Before long, Sylvia moved into two rooms in Park Cottage, in Park Walk, between the King’s Road and Fulham Road, Chelsea. It was a cosy, comfortable place, run by a

home’ celebration organised by Frank Smith in the Albert Hall. Although Hardie had resigned the Labour Party leadership while he was away in order to ‘be free to speak out’, every seat was taken. When he rose to speak, he was unable to utter a word for fully ten minutes while the audience cheered, waved handkerchiefs and sang The Red Flag and For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. He told his euphoric friends that he did not believe he had been a success as a political leader: he had indeed neglected his

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