In the Thick of the Fight
The Writing of Emily Wilding Davison, Militant Suffragette
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I first encountered Emily Davison in Morpeth—the Northumbrian market town which was home to her family, and where my husband and I lived part of each year from 2004 to 2011. A medievalist with a particular interest in the literary presentation of medieval women and the Virgin Mary, I was busy one day trying to research the history of the Lady Chapel ruins in the woods ...
Chapter 1. Seizing the Moment
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It is one of the most memorable images of the British women's suffrage movement: the day is June 4, 1913, Derby Day—the scene, the track at Epsom, at a turning known as Tattenham Corner. As the field of horses approaches and thunders by, a woman suddenly ducks out from under the railing and moves on to the track. A film of the moment shows her deliberately reaching ...
Chapter 2. Reading and Writing for the Cause
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A eulogy printed on Friday, June 13, 1913, in Votes for Women, praised Emily Davison as a learned woman for whom "the columns of the Press, closed to many, opened themselves often almost unaccountably to her vivid and able pen." While she may have enjoyed greater access than others to the audience she sought, Davison was not unique in her belief in the power of words to ...
Chapter 3. Visionary Women, Rebels for God’s Laws
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The militant suffrage movement built its argument in no small part on a foundation of past achievements by visionary women. In a series of essays for Votes for Women Emily Davison celebrated the combination of religious faith, vision, and commitment of nine women—foremothers who were able to help change the world. Like the women she wrote about, Davison, too, was ...
Chapter 4. Paying the Price: Militancy, Prison, and Violence
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Knowing that she would shortly be heading to gaol (jail), Emily Davison made her will on October 20, 1909, the same day she was arrested in Radcliffe, near Manchester, for breaking windows in protest against the exclusion of women from a public meeting being held by Sir Walter Runciman.1 Not knowing what might happen to them in prison, many suffragettes wrote their wills ...
Chapter 5. Answering Point for Point: The 1911 Letters
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Between March 1911 and early 1913, Emily Davison conducted an extensive letter-writing campaign to the editors of over fifty newspapers. Nearly 200 of these letters were pasted into a scrapbook now in the Women's Library Davison archive. While it likely does not comprise the entire corpus of Davison's letters, the scrapbook collection warrants close attention because it seems ...
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In a letter in the Adelaide, Australia, Mail on Saturday, August 16, 1913, two British suffragettes, a Miss Hodge and a Miss Newcombe, described Emily Davison's London funeral and praised her as a "dearly loved comrade" who "has passed on to the Throne of God the petition of the little outraged children, of the victims of white slavery, of the sweated working women, and ...
Appendix: Brief Biographical Index of Persons Emily Davison Refers to in Her Writing
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Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2013