Who Was… Emily Davison

by Claudia FitzHerbert

  • Published: 01 Apr 2004
  • Price: £4.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781904095666
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The Girl who gave her life for her cause

Emily was angry. She worked as hard as any man, but she couldn’t change laws that affected her – laws made by men. Because women were not allowed to vote.

She and the other suffragettes had patiently put their argument to the government, but they were ignored. Now it was time for direct action: arson, bricks through windows, hiding overnight in the House of Commons.

Over and over again she was thrown into prison and brutally force-fed through an iron tube. Maybe it would take a suffragette death to bring the government to its senses.

At the Derby race-course, as the King’s Horse came pounding towards her, Emily was prepared to make the greatest sacrifice of all…

‘It was the last straw. Everyone had had enough. The tube was withdrawn with a violent swiftness. Emily felt as though her throat had been stroked with a saw.

She vomited a third time, and then passed out. She came round to an empty cell and the slow realisation that the feeding was over and the party dispersed. She moaned softly and twisted her head this way and that on sheets which were wet with sick and sweat […] From the cell next door came a tapping on the wall. It was Morse Code, as adapted by the Militant Suffragettes. NO SURRENDER, spelt the taps. Emily Davison clenched her fist and answered back the same…’

About Claudia FitzHerbert

Claudia FitzHerbert was born in 1965. She reviews regularly for the Daily Telegraph, She lives in Oxford with her children.