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‘There is a good deal of uncertainty as to how the women will vote’: The 1918 General Election in Birmingham

100 years ago, on 14 December 1918, women in Britain went to the polls to vote in a General Election for the first time. Just ten months after the Representation of the People Act had awarded the franchise to some women (those over thirty, who met a property qualification), the newly-expanded electorate cast their first ballots. As part of my doctoral research, I have been investigating how women in and around Birmingham reacted to the extension of the franchise. In this election, the city and surrounding districts saw three women stand as parliamentary candidates: Margery Corbett Ashby, Liberal candidate for …

The Enigma of Ellen Terry (1847-1928) – Dr. Veronica Isaac

Ellen Terry (1847-1928)

‘Of Ellen Terry, the actress, Our Lady of the Lyceum as Oscar Wilde used to style her, what a series of wonderful pictures live in the memory”[i]

ELLEN TERRY, photograph by Samuel Alexander Walker (1841-1922), a photographer with a studio on Regent Street, London. The photograph shows Ellen Terry when living with Edward Godwin.

A leading late nineteenth century actress, Dame Ellen Terry’s lifestyle directly challenged conventional Victorian morality and social codes: encompassing three marriages, two illegitimate children, and at least two long term love affairs. Despite this, she became one of the most respected performers …

War Widows and the controversy over Remembrance Sunday services at the Cenotaph (1972-1982), by Dr Janis Lomas

Remembrance Sunday has a particular significance this year as it marks the centenary of the First World War armistice, yet few remember the First and Second World War widows who following the foundation of the War Widows’ Association (WWA) in 1971 campaigned to be allowed to take part in remembrance activities held at the Cenotaph in London. War widows’ pension was introduced in 1914, but this campaigning organisation gave widows a voice.

Widows found their exclusion from the Cenotaph Service of Remembrance particularly hurtful.  This exclusion had come about, as Adrian Gregory points out, when the Armistice Day commemorations …

Women in the Service Industries in Southern Africa since 1900 – Dr Andrew Cohen & Dr Rory Pilossof

Women in the Service Industries in Southern Africa since 1900.

Andrew Cohen (University of Kent) and Rory Pilossof (University of the Free State)

There is a rich and well-developed historiography on work and labour in southern Africa. The colonial occupation of the region gave rise to new forms of work and social arrangements that have been well documented. The two most notable arenas of work were on the mines and white owned commercial farms that came into being under colonial rule. These two sectors dominate the historiography on work and labour, in both colonial and post-colonial studies. In addition, there …

Songs of Suffrage: a concert of music and readings, 1900-1930

‘Songs of Suffrage: a concert of music and readings, 1900-1930

A concert featuring women composers active during the suffrage campaign, 7pm, Thursday 1 November 2018, Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, University of London.

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Come and hear ‘Songs of Suffrage: an evening of music & readings, 1900-1930’, featuring the work of three early 20th-century women composers and suffrage campaigners: Ethel Smyth (1858–1944), Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) and Dorothy Howell (1898-1982).

The concert features a movement from Dorothy Howell’s string quartet—last performed at the Wigmore Hall, London in 1920, after which part of the score was lost. Now rediscovered and …