It wasn’t until the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act in 1928 that women in the UK were finally given the same voting rights as men. Campaigners had been pushing for such a development for decades, however, progress had been far too slow for some. In 1903, a small group of frustrated activists, headed by Emmeline Pankhurst, broke away from the Suffragists and chose to attack the system more aggressively by smashing windows, burning down buildings, chaining themselves to Buckingham Palace, and spending time in prison, all in an effort to be heard. One of these “suffragettes,” Emily Davison, was even killed when she stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby. On February 26th, 1913, with the protests as forceful as ever, the following letter appeared in the Daily Telegraph, written by a suffragist named Bertha Brewster.
This letter, along with 121 other fascinating pieces of correspondence, can be found in More Letters of Note, the follow-up to the bestselling Letters of Note book. More info here.
(Source: More Letters of Note; Image: Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst in 1908, via Wikipedia.)
Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual.
1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.
2. Give women the vote.
Yours truly,Bertha Brewster