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George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928)

Author of Suffragette: My Own Story

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Emmeline Pankhurst, née Goulden, was born in Manchester, the daughter of a calico printer, and was educated in Manchester and Paris. In 1879, she married radical lawyer Richard Marsden Pankhurst and the couple had three daughters, all of whom became famous in the suffrage movement: Dame Christabel, Sylvia, and Adela Pankhurst. During her married life, Emmeline Pankhurst supported her husband in various radical causes, but after his death in 1898 she began to concentrate more exclusively on political rights for women -- and the suffrage movement in particular. With her daughter Christabel, she founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. With the full assistance of her daughters, Emmeline Pankhurst resorted to dramatic and sometimes dangerous methods to gain media and public interest for their determined campaign to win the vote for women. With her leadership, British women over the age of 30 finally did win the vote in 1918, and a decade later they were granted equality of franchise with men. Mrs. Pankhurst later became a member of the Conservative Party and lectured on social matters and child welfare. She wrote her autobiography, My Own Story (1914).
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