International Women’s Day Postscript

As I wrote before, International Women’s Day isn’t as widely recognized and celebrated as it ought to be. But some people do. In the park behind the Houses of Parliament in London, there is a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, possibly the most famous leader of the British suffragette movement. At its feet, the day I was there, four days after International Women’s Day, it was still decorated with bouquets and wreaths of flowers.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Our tour guide who was showing us around the Old Westminster area bent down to see the card on one of the bouquets. It read, “For Mrs. Pankhurst, on an important day.” (Or something to that effect.) The guide admitted with embarrassment that she didn’t know what day it meant, so I told her. I’m sure Mrs. Pankhurst would be happy some remember. She was an amazing woman, and a fitting person to give such a tribute to.

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2 Responses to International Women’s Day Postscript

  1. Dana says:

    I’m actually kind of amused that the main reason I already knew who Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel were was not from my amazing academic knowledge of feminist history, but instead came from reading historical fiction mysteries. The Pankhursts show up in the beginning of one of the Amelia Peabody mysteries, and I guess Peters did a good job of illustrating the times for me, because it left me with a fairly accurate vision and feel for what happened, based on what our tour guide said. I swear, I retained more history from reality-based fiction than I ever did from class.

  2. Linda says:

    I think that I would have benefitted more from a story-based approach to history, based on the personalities, interactions, and intrigues of those who contributed to the making of history. But I would not need the stories to be fictional if they were as interesting as the “real” story about John Harrison that we heard at the Greenwich Observatory. I’m eager to get my hand on the book now, and I almost NEVER read anything for entertainment that’s not fiction.

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