A Review of March, Women, March by Lucinda Hawksley
March, Women, March has been published to commemorate the centenary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison, the suffragette who died from her injuries after being dragged under the king’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. It features diary entries, letters, anecdotes and propaganda – from both the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements – and traces the long, hard journey by which women in Britain moved from being the “property” of their fathers and husbands to gaining greater legal recognition and rights and, finally, to becoming enfranchised citizens with full voting rights.
This is such a difficult review for me because I firmly believe every human being should read March, Women, March if only to understand what the suffragette movement was all about, culturally, politically, economically and socially; if only to understand why and how women such as, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Annie Besant, Suffragist leader Lady Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and her daughter Christabel, amongst others, were fighting for equality.
March, Women, March begins in 1792 with the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women through to the General Election of 1929. Within these pages, during these one hundred and thirty seven years, Author, Lucinda Hawksley, uses battle cries and slogans of the Suffragette Movement of the early 20th century, personal recollections taken from letters and memoirs, newspaper reports and other first-hand accounts to explain every aspect into the meaning of, for, and behind the Suffragette Movement with the purpose to understanding who these women were and why they put their beliefs, and their lives on the line with the goal of equality going forth before them with every step they took.
This is an extremely passion-filled, emotionally written, well-researched book covering an important time in women’s history. Perhaps, the one surprise for me was the beautiful inclusion of nineteenth-century female author novel excerpts used to support chapters discussing suffragette women. For instance, in chapter two you will find excerpts from Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In chapter four is Woman in White; chapter six is Pride and Prejudice, etc.
Florence Nightingale, English nursing home reformer (1820-1910), is shown here in 1845. She became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit for her tireless efforts during the Crimean War.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (11836-1917) was the first woman doctor in England. Anderson had become a nurse at Middlesex Hospital, London; after being refused entry at several medical schools because she was a woman. However, she later discovered that the Society of Apothecaries did not specify that women were banned from taking examinations, and in 1865 she passed their examination to become a doctor.
Annie Besant (1847-1933), in 1895, The English theosophist, who was prominent in the Fabian Society, published a pamphlet on birth control for which she was brought to trial on a charge of obscenity. She moved to India where she lectured and became the Hindu nationalist leader.
Suffragist leader Lady Emmaline Perthick-Lawrence (1868-1954) celebrates her release in 1909
The British suffragette leader Emmaline Pankhurst (1858-1928), and her daughter Christabel (1880-1958), founders of the Women's Social and Political Union, wearing prison uniforms during a spell in jail in 1908 for demonstrating for women's rights.
Emmaline Pankhurst is arrested at a demonstration outside Buckingham Palace, London, 1914.
This is the second book cover with a different title but the book is the same.