Thursday, February 09, 2017

THE PANKHURSTS - LATEST ESSAY IN MY NEW 'WOMEN' SERIES

Sylvia Pankhurst
Currently working on the Pankhurst family, particularly Sylvia. History buffs are well  aware that Emmeline, her mother  and father Dr Richard Pankhurst, produced two daughters who went on to become prominent suffragettes – Christabel (born in 1880) and Sylvia (born in 1882). The Pankhursts had five children in all - two sons and three daughters.  
Their first son, Frank, was born in 1884 but died of diphtheria in 1888. The Pankhursts’ remaining son, Henry Francis, was born in 1889. In-between was the ‘lost sister’ Adela, born in 1885. Like her sisters, Adela played an active role in the ‘Votes for Women’ campaign. She was imprisoned for her involvement and went on hunger strike, although she never supported what she perceived to be the “excesses of militancy”.

Adela Pankhurst in 1914 (Bath Central Library)
Sylvia and Adela  left the WSPU in 1913. Sylvia became a socialist, and Adela was encouraged to emigrate to Australia after her mother gave her a ticket and £20. The rift within the family never healed.

Adela was well received in Melbourne but her followers soon became disillusioned. 

Work continues


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