Art, Theatre and Women's Suffrage

Art, Theatre and Women's Suffrage

by Irene Cockroft, Susan Croft


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An exploration of the creative explosion that occurred when the campaign for the vote brought together the talents of so many female writers and artists at the start of the twentieth century. Writers and artists include Cicely Hamilton, Chris St. John, Inez Bensusan, Elizabeth Robins, Ernestine Mills, Pamela Colman Smith, Mary Lowndes, and Emily Ford.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781906582081
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Publication date: 04/19/2011
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 822,188
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

IRENE COCKROFT is an independent exhibition curator, author and lecturer specializing in the story of women’s involvement in the late 19th, early 20th century Arts & Crafts and Suffrage movements. Irene is the great-niece of suffrage artist and enameller Ernestine Mills (1871-1959). She represents a direct link with the Women’s Suffrage campaign. Her writing includes: New Dawn Women – Women In The Arts & Crafts And Suffrage Movements At The Dawn Of The 20th Century;Watts Gallery 2005.

DR.SUSAN CROFT has done extensive research and published widely on women playwrights. Her work includes: Classic Plays by Women (Aurora Metro 2010); Votes for Women and other Plays (Aurora Metro 2009) and She Also Wrote Plays (Faber 2001). From 1997 to 2005 she was the Curator of Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Museum in London.

Table of Contents


1 The Early Years

The New Woman 12

The Struggle for Women's Suffrage: The 1866 Petition 13

The Cause behind the Campaign 15

2 The Campaign

National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 18

Women's Social and Political Union 19

Women's Freedom League 21

3 The ANTIs

National League for Opposing Women's Suffrage 23

The Arguments Against 24

4 Art For Votes' Sake

Annie Swynnerton 26

Sylvia Pankhurst 27

Ernestine Mills 28

Olive Hockin 30

Edith Hinchley 31

May Morris 31

Emily Ford 31

Clemence Housman 32

A Patriot (Alfred Pearse) 33

Flying Colours: Suffrage Banners 33

Mary Lowndes 33

Photographers 34

Lena Connell 34

The Anti-league in Art 35

5 Performing Women's Suffrage

Revolting Women: The Monstrous Regiments 39

Joan of Alt 40

Funeral 42

Pilgrimage 43

6 Acting Up! The Actresses' Franchise League

Prologue 44

Actresses, Writers and Stage Designers 48

Inez Bensusan 48

Ellen Terry 49

Cicely Hamilton 51

Edith Craig 51

Christopher St John 53

Elizabeth Robins 53

Pamela Colman Smith 54

Other Feminist Theatres 54

The Pioneer Players 55

The Play Actors 56

The Propaganda Players 57

Performances at WSPU's Women's Suffrage Exhibition, Princes' Skating Rink, Knightsbridge for 13-26 May 1909 57

Performances at National WSPU's Christmas Fair and Festival, 1911 59

Other Players 60

Laurence Alma-Tadema 60

Lena Ashwell 61

Elizabeth Baker 61

Jenny (Mrs Herbert) Cohen 61

Jess Dorynne 61

Beatrice Forbes Robertson 61

Gertrude Elliott 62

Gabrielle Enthoven 62

Rosina Filippi 62

Evelyn Glover 63

Beatrice Harraden 63

Kate Harvey 63

Bessie Hatton 63

Marian Emma Holmes 64

Annie Horniman 64

Laurence Housman 64

Violet Hunt 65

Gertrude Jennings 65

Dame Madge Kendal 65

Dame Edith Lyttelton 65

Margaret Mack 65

Winifred Mayo 66

Lillah McCarthy 66

M. Slieve McGowan 66

Decima Moore 67

Eva Moore 67

Margaret Wynne Nevinson 67

Adela Pankhurst 68

'George Paston' 68

Madeleine Lucette Ryley 68

Sime Seruya 69

Athene Seyler 69

Mabel Annie St Clair Stohart 69

Sybil Thorndike 70

Violet and Irene Vanbrugh 70

Vera Wentworth 70

Edith Zangwill 71

Israel Zangwill 71

7 Music

March of the Women 72

Ethel Smyth 73

8 Spreading the Word

Meetings 74

Platform Speakers: Richmond-upon-Thames and Wimbledon 75

Bertrand Russell 75

Lady Frances Balfour 76

Soapbox Oratory: Rose Lamartine Yates 76

The Garden Party 80

9 Forms of Protest

Tax Resistance 82

Census Boycott 82

The Argument of the Broken Window 83

Kitty Marion 83

Lilian Lenton 84

Hunger Strikes 84

10 Off With Corsets! The Fashion Revolution 88

11 Gilding the Lily

Badges 91

Presentation Jewellery 92

Personal Jewellery 94

How Tax Resistance Served the Suffrage Campaign 95

12 Contemporary Responses to the Suffrage Movement

Television 96

Theatre 97

Art 98

Ann Dingsdale and the 1866 Women's Suffrage Petition 98

History Recorded in the Subversive Stitch 99

Four Generations 99

13 1832-1928: Three Generations of Women Dedicate their lives to Winning Equality 101

14 The Long Century of Catching-Up for Women Worldwide 108

15 Collection of Suffrage Anthems 110

Bibliography 119

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