Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was born in Manchester, the daughter of Richard and Emmeline Pankhurst and sister of Adela and Christabel Pankhurst. She attended the Manchester Municipal School of Art and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, and then joined the Women’s Social and Political Union founded by her mother and sister in 1903. She supported the women's suffrage movement with an enthusiastic public campaign that included imprisonment and hunger strikes. After World War I, which she vehemently opposed, Sylvia Pankhurst became more and more drawn to the cause of socialism, and in 1914 founded the journal of the Workers' Socialist Federation, Worker’s Dreadnought. She went to visit Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution by stowing away on a Finnish ship, and was introduced to Lenin. She published a book about the trip, Soviet Russia as I Saw It (1921). She had a son with Italian anarachist Silvio Corio in 1927. Sylvia Pankhurst later became particularly identified with the cause of freedom for Abyssinia (Ethiopia) after it was invaded by the Italians. She lived in Addis Ababa during the last years of her life.