(first published 26/10/2015)
Dr Maureen Wright will talk about the autobiographical (mis)-readings of the Suffragette Movement at events in 2016.
The first will be as part of the Westbourne History series on 26 February 2016, entitled ‘So you think you know the Pankhursts?”
The release of the recent film Suffragette starring Meryl Streep and Cary Mulligan has prompted a revival of interest in the history of the militant movement for women’s suffrage in Edwardian Britain. This lecture will review some of the events of that iconic campaign via an exploration of the Pankhurst family autobiographies. The works of Emmeline Pankhurst (1914), Sylvia Pankhurst (1931) and Christabel Pankhurst (1959) show diverse and often contentious interpretations of suffragette history – and also the painful breakdown of family solidarity in the wake of growing political differences. The lecture will raise key issues of the interpretation of personal histories and discusses the value of such works to the historian who seeks to uncover ‘the truth’ of events.