Emmeline Pankhurst: The Making of a Militant
20th Century • 52m
This documentary takes a rare look at Emmeline Pankhurst’s personal story.
Emmeline Pankhurst led an army of women onto the streets of Britain – the likes of which has never been seen before or since. Fearsome, fearless and ready to fight to the death for her political beliefs she is remembered as a global icon. But how much do we really know about this working mum from Manchester?
This documentary takes a rare look at Emmeline Pankhurst’s personal story - the loves, losses, political passions and tragedies that motivated this mythical figure…
As we celebrate 100 years since some women won the vote Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes battled so passionately for, presenter Sally Lindsay asks why so little is known about this world famous figure.
Taking a rare look behind the well-known image of the formidable face and the frilly blouse she uncovers the real personal story that transformed this girl from Moss Side into the leader of an army of women willing to bomb post boxes, burn down buildings and die for the cause.
With the help of Emmeline’s surviving relatives, including her great granddaughter Dr Helen Pankhurst, Sally delves deep intothe archive to reveal her roots in radical Victorian Manchester. Acity brimming with political activists – including Emmeline’s own family – where women set up the first meetings and societies demanding the vote, years before the Suffragettes. She finds out more about young Emmeline’s political heroines, and unearths amazing archive of a Manchester woman who voted in an election 50 years before the landmark act of 1918.
Stylised dramatic reconstruction and Emmeline’s own words help bring her to life as a real woman, as the programme reveals a long-forgotten side to this formidable character. A young woman caught up in a whirlwind love affair with the legendary civil rights campaigner Dr Richard Pankhurst, a modern mother who worked while bringing up her children, and a passionate political performer who was rocking the establishment years before her Suffragettes hit the headlines. It reveals the family tragedies and heartbreaking losses that left Emmeline and her children facing financial hardship. And how her work with the workhouses and poor districts of Manchester brought her face to face with shocking conditions for women and young girls that steeled her resolve into Deeds Not Words.
Stepping back in time to the very birthplace of the Suffragettes – Emmeline’s house in Nelson Street, Manchester – Sally finds out how she was motivated by
her daughters to take the final steps towards militant action. And how she carefully transformed her image into the feminine yet formidable picture we know
today – to inspire a nation of women to follow in her footsteps.
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