Letter: Defending 'mad women in attics' 1

February 1, 2002

How we might best understand the suffragette movement and the role of the Pankhurst family in it is a matter of heated dispute ("The Pankhursts - politics and passion", THES , January 25).

But while Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst did become "devoted patriots" after the outbreak of war, it is not the case that they were "attracted to fascism". Others in the movement were to become fascist supporters and, in understanding why this might be, we should look less to the lives of the Pankhursts and more to the political conclusions that some of their followers drew from their suffrage experience.

Martin Durham
Senior lecturer in politics
University of Wolverhampton

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