Mrs Despard and the Suffrage Movement
eBook - ePub

Mrs Despard and the Suffrage Movement

Founder of The Women's Freedom League

Lynne Graham-Matheson, Helen Matheson-Pollock

  1. 224 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Mrs Despard and the Suffrage Movement

Founder of The Women's Freedom League

Lynne Graham-Matheson, Helen Matheson-Pollock

Book details
Table of contents
Citations

About This Book

The biography of an activist who dedicated her long life to standing up for women, children, and the poor. Charlotte Despard, social reformer and suffragette, was always known as Mrs Despard, never Charlotte. Her name should be as familiar to historians as those of Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett—yet she remains overlooked. Born in 1844, she found solace in literature during a difficult childhood, identifying with Milton's Satan and the romantic words of Shelley. She married Maximillian Despard and had the opportunity to explore the world and try her hand at a career as a novelist. When she was widowed in her early forties, her money and status allowed her to live a life of surprising freedom for a woman of her time. She used it to improve the lot of the poor—and moved to live among them in the London slums. She fought for better living and working conditions for all, supporting adult suffrage before becoming involved in the fight for votes for women. She joined Emmeline Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union and, when that organization split in 1907, co-founded the Women's Freedom League, becoming its first, and much loved, president. She also served as editor of its newspaper, The Vote. When suffrage activities were largely suspended after the outbreak of WW1 in 1914, she returned to her Irish roots and moved to Dublin to support the fight for Irish home rule. After some women were enfranchised in 1918, she even tried running for Parliament. And though she died penniless at ninety-five—having given all her money to helping those less fortunate—her quiet legacy is felt to this day in causes supporting therights of women and children.

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Information

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Dedication
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Charlotte Despard
  7. Acronyms Used
  8. Chapter 1 Early Life
  9. Chapter 2 Entering Public Life
  10. Chapter 3 Causes
  11. Chapter 4 Siblings
  12. Chapter 5 Petticoats and Politics
  13. Chapter 6 Dare to be Free
  14. Chapter 7 Private Sphere
  15. Chapter 8 Charlotte in Ireland
  16. Chapter 9 Final Days
  17. Bibliography
  18. Plate section