Posted on 04/06/2013
To mark the 100th anniversary today of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison's death, her alma mater Royal Holloway will hold a series of public events in her honour.
Emily Davison, who ran in front of King George V’s horse during the Epsom Derby on June 4 1913, joined Royal Holloway in 1892, when it was a pioneering women-only college. She studied French, German and English Literature but unfortunately failed to complete her course due to the death of her father and subsequent inability to pay the fees.
“Indeed, her reluctant departure from Royal Holloway revealed starkly to her the realities of the precarious existence that even comfortably middle-class Victorian women could face, and their dependence upon men for financial and material support,” said Dr Alex Windscheffel, from the Department of History at Royal Holloway.
“This perhaps provides an important clue for her future interests, especially her unyielding commitment to the women-only WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) after 1906.
“In addition, mixing with contemporaries such as Louisa Martindale, the future pioneering gynaecologist whose mother was a leading figure in the suffrage movement, as well as being encouraged by the staff to take part in political debates, makes it likely that many of her views were forged during her formative time at Royal Holloway.”
Emily went on to become a heroine of the suffragette movement and was the only member to lose her life as a direct result of their campaign for women’s votes.
In honour of her, Royal Holloway will today welcome members of the public to a ‘Make a Suffragist Rosette’ workshop from 11am until noon in the Picture Gallery, before inviting visitors to a special seminar in the Main Lecture Theatre.
Remembering the contribution she made to the lives of British women, students and staff from the History, English, Music and Drama departments will give a varied programme of talks, songs, performances and readings about the suffragette movement.
In addition to the centenary events, a new one-woman play Emily Wilding Davison: The one who threw herself under the horse, by Ros Connelly, will be performed at Royal Holloway on Friday 14 June. Seats are free but must be booked in advance.
For more information and to get tickets, click here.