One week on from International Women’s Day, the theme of Irene’s talk will be broadened to cover the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 that gave votes to suitably qualified women over thirty. Included will be Camden personalities of the past: those prominent in the suffrage campaign like the Pankhursts, Millicent Fawcett and Charlotte Despard; and lesser known figures, such as community-spirited Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, English Folk Dance enthusiast Mary Neal, writer Israel Zangwill (founder member of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage), anti-suffragist Mrs Humphrey Ward, and perhaps most surprisingly to many, Hampstead’s tennis world champion Eustace Miles (1868-1948). Many diverse luminaries were caught in the intrigue that finally – in Parliament’s own good time and when it suited election strategy – prodded Britain over the palisade of prejudice into the modern world of equal citizenship.
Irene Cockroft is an independent exhibition curator, author and lecturer specialising in the history of women’s involvement in the late 19th, early 20th century Arts & Crafts and Suffrage movements. Her inspiration in studying women’s history was her great-aunt, suffrage artist Ernestine Mills (1871-1959) who worked in many mediums including enamel-on-metal, and featured in her talk to CHS in 2016, ‘Artistic Symbolism in the Suffragette Movement’. She and Susan Croft are guest curating a Suffragettes in Camden exhibition at CLSAC during the summer of 2018 (dates tba), as part of Parliament’s Vote 100 and the London Borough of Camden’s VOX programmes.
Non-members welcome (£1 at the door).