Emmeline Pankhurst (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Pankhurst fought to attain the vote for British women during the early years of the twentieth century, organizing the militant Women’s Social and Political Union into an effective tool for obtaining women’s rights.
Emmeline Pankhurst was born in Manchester, England, on July 14, 1858, the eldest daughter (third of eleven children) of Robert Goulden and his wife, née Sophia Jane Craine. Her father was the owner of a calico-printing and bleach works located outside Salford, the industrial twin city to Manchester. Emmeline’s education was typical of a girl of her class. She attended a girls’ boarding school in Manchester and then, at the age of fifteen, was sent to Paris to attend a finishing school, the École Normale, from which she was graduated at the age of nineteen. More important than formal schooling in the development of the future political agitator was her informal education. Her father taught her to read at an early age, and in her autobiography she tells how she was inspired by reading Thomas Carlyle’s History of the French Revolution (1837). Moreover, both of her parents had been actively involved in liberal and radical reform movements, among them women’s suffrage. At the age of fourteen, Emmeline was taken to her first suffrage meeting in Manchester, then a center of the women’s emancipation movement, with an active chapter of the Manchester Women’s...
(The entire section is 2278 words.)
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