Author(s): Emmeline Pankhurst
This work is one of the top biographies written by Emmeline Pankhurst. The closing paragraphs of this book were written in the late summer of 1914, when the armies of every great power in Europe were being mobilised for savage, unsparing, barbarous warfare-against one another, against small and unaggressive nations, against helpless women and children, against civilisation itself. How mild, by comparison with the despatches in the daily newspapers, will seem this chronicle of women's militant struggle against political and social injustice in one small corner of Europe. Yet let it stand as it was written, with peace-so-called, and civilisation, and orderly government as the background for heroism such as the world has seldom witnessed. The militancy of men, through all the centuries, has drenched the world with blood, and for these deeds of horror and destruction men have been rewarded with monuments, with great songs and epics. The militancy of women has harmed no human life save the lives of those who fought the battle of righteousness. Time alone will reveal what reward will be allotted to the women.
The great leader of the women's suffrage movement, tells the story of her struggles in her own words
"She shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back" Time "She put body and soul at the service of liberty, equality and fraternity and secured a triumph for them" -- Rebecca West "Emmeline Pankhurst fought for women's suffrage with indomitable courage" Guardian
Emmeline Pankhurst was born in 1858 in Manchester, into a politically active family. She became interested in politics at a young age and a supporter of women's suffrage by the age of fourteen. As a teenager she attended school in Paris and on her return to Manchester she met and married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister twenty-four years her senior. Over the next ten years they had five children. Emmeline's interest in politics and involvement in the suffrage movement continued to develop and she was as a member of the Women's Franchise League and later the Independent Labour Party. In 1903, frustrated by the lack of progress on securing votes for women, Pankhurst and several colleagues founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a militant organisation devoted to securing votes for women by direct action. For the following twenty years, members of the WSPU, led by Pankhurst, endured prison and hunger strikes in their struggle to win the right to vote. Their activities were called to a halt by the start of the First World War but in 1918, the government gave voting rights to women over thirty. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men.