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Emily Davison

Funeral of Emily Davison in Morpeth
Emily Davison, in full Emily Wilding Davison, (born October 11, 1872, Roxburgh House, Greenwich, Kent [now part of Greater London], England—died June 8, 1913, Epsom, Surrey [now part of Greater London]), British activist who became a martyr to the cause of woman suffrage when she entered the racetrack during the 1913 Epsom Derby and moved in front of King George V’s horse, which struck her while galloping at full force. She never regained consciousness and died four days later.
(Encyclopedia Britannica)
She was buried in Morpeth, Northumberland and Lit & Phil member Ian McArdle has made a short video presentation about her.
The talk examines Emily's difficult life and tragic death but provides deliberately more questions than answers!  Did her actions help or hinder the campaign for women's suffrage? The talk also raises the age-old question of whether the end always justifies the means.  Were the violent methods of the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) more effective than the attitude of The National Union of Women's Suffrage which preferred "constitutional agitation" while remaining within the Law?

About the author

Ian McArdle

Ian McArdle is a member of The Lit & Phil.  He was a modern languages teacher in schools and at the University of Southampton and then held the post of Deputy Director of the Language Centre at the University of Newcastle.  At the Lit & Phil, he has taught a series of classes in Russian, German and Spanish and leads a group every year in the study of French novels which include Pagnol, Mauriac, Voltaire and Proust.  He has given a number of talks at the Library and makes contributions to our newsletter where he has written a series of articles on German and French novels of the Great War.

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