Emily Wilding Davison at Royal Holloway University of London
Emily Wilding Davison enrolled as a student of English Literature at Royal Holloway College in 1892 and studied for two years before leaving in 1894 when her father died and the termly fees of £30 became unaffordable for her family. She completed her degree after one further term at St Hugh’s Hall, Oxford in 1895. Yet women were not permitted to graduate at that time, and this was one of the restrictions afflicting women which she campaigned to overturn in her subsequent activism as a suffragette.
The centenary of her fatal accident sustained at Epsom on 4 June 1913 was commemorated in the College. On 4 June 2013 staff and students from across the College presented stories, poems and reflections in the Victorian lecture theatre where Emily Wilding Davison attended classes. The event was organised and the pieces were commissioned by Professor Anne Varty in the English Department.
To celebrate the 2018 centenary of women’s right to vote, staff in the English Department at Royal Holloway have recorded the work they wrote in 2013.
Jo Shapcott, 'Census'
Jo Shapcott reads her poem ‘Census’ in the cupboard in the Crypt of the House of Commons -- right next to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft -- where Emily Wilding Davison hid for 46 hours during the Census in 1911.
We would like to thank the Black Rod for giving permission to film this video, and the National Archives for allowing us to use their archive materials including the detail of the Census that lists Davison's address as 'Found hiding in the crypt of Westminster Hall since Saturday'.
Prue Bussey-Chamberlain, 'For Emily Wilding Davison'
Prue Bussey-Chamberlain reads her poem in the north quad of the Founder's building at Royal Holloway.
Eley Williams, 'Mother of All Parliaments'
Eley Williams reads her prose poem in the Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway, where Emily Wilding Davison would have taken her exams.
Susanna Jones, #Emily
Susanna Jones reads her short social media mystery in locations around the Founder's Building, where Emily Wilding Davison would have lived.
The March of the Women
Isabella Mansell, a recent graduate of the Departments of English and Drama, sings verses from Ethyl Smythe and Cicely Hamilton’s suffragette anthem ‘March of the Women’ in the college chapel at Royal Holloway.
Emily Wilding Davison in the Royal Holloway Archives
The College Archivist, Annabel Valentine, opens the archive to show us the traces which Emily Wilding Davison left in the Royal Holloway records.
Emily’s Dream was written by Professor Anne Varty and performed by Year Eight Classics Students, 2018 as part of Women's Suffrage Celebration Day, 14 December 2018, organised by the Rumble Museum at Cheney School, Oxford. The day was arranged by Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of The Iris Project & Rumble Museum.
Emily was performed by Averil Tallack, Heather Chapman and Bella Goff.
Emily's Dream was workshopped on the day by Caitlin Carrick-Varty, supported by Dr Deana Rankin and Professor Anne Varty. The spectating suffragette is Philippa Bilton.
Filming by Kieran Burling.
Emily Wilding Davison at Royal Holloway University of London was produced by Professor Anne Varty with support from the Royal Holloway Suffrage 2018 fund.
The project was filmed and edited by Dr Jessica Chiba, graduate and Teaching Fellow in the English Department.