Chapter 9

Doing Feminist Women's History: Researching the Lives of Women in the Suffragette Movement in Edwardian England

June Purvis



My aim in this chapter is to discuss some of the problems I have encountered when undertaking research into the suffragette movement in Edwardian England, especially the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded on 10 October 1903 by Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst and her eldest daughter, Christabel, with the expressed aim of obtaining votes for women on equal terms with men.1 In particular, for illustrative purposes, I shall focus upon the experience of prison life for those WSPU members who were jailed as a result of activities they engaged in when fighting for the right of women to enfranchisement. ...

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