A Fond Farewell

Filed in March 2013, The Women's Library by on March 22, 2013

A letter at the Women’s Library was the catalyst for my Emily Wilding Davison play TO FREEDOM’S CAUSE.  And for that I shall always be grateful.

TWL_exterior_crop_Litho

Therefore, my visit on Wednesday was tinged with sadness as the library closes its doors for the last time on its present purpose built site near Aldgate tube station and the whole collection will be moved to the LSE’s library over the coming months.

What the future holds for such an important collection is unclear and I urge anyone who cares about the contribution women have made to our society and the rest of the world should hold the LSE to account and ensure that their precious cargo is not broken up.

Ready to go up to the library one last time.

I listened to a series of interesting interviews with some remarkable women, including former North East suffragettes Norah Balls and Connie Lewcock. I also worked my way through some of Mary Leigh’s eclectic archive, which threw up some wonderful insights into another daring northern suffragette.

To the Men and Women
    of the Generation
which will come after us.

          You will look back at us
with astonishment.

– From the Mary Leigh Brown archive at the Women’s Library, London

Mary was one of the few suffragettes to remain loyal to Emily over the years following her death. I already knew that she had tried to keep her friend’s memory alive in the Public’s imagination and so it was moving to read some of the letters she received from members of Emily’s extended family decades later. The letters were chatty and informal; the family was clearly fond of Mary.

Emily Wilding Davison’s purse & return portion of railway ticket

My last day at the Women’s library was over far too soon. I would like to thank every member of staff who has helped me with my research over the past few years and wish them well with the move to the LSE. They are a credit to the women whose archives they care for and oversee.

TO FREEDOM'S CAUSE - Yorkshire

To Freedom’s Cause

After extensive research and development TO FREEDOM’S CAUSE, directed by Jemma Gross, will premiere in Morpeth in mid June 2013 and after a short tour the play will head south via Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal to the Tristan Bates Theatre, London.

More information to follow soon.  Please do get in touch via my Contact page.

 

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