Christabel Pankhurst: a biography

Hosted by the LSE Library

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, United Kingdom


Professor June Purvis

Emeritus Professor of Women’s and Gender History, University of Portsmouth


Professor Linda Mulcahy

Professor of Law at LSE

Professor June Purvis will talk about her full-length biography of Christabel Pankhurst, the first for forty years, which draws upon feminist approaches to biography.

Together with her mother, Emmeline, Christabel Pankhurst co-led the single-sex Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1903, and soon regarded as the most notorious of the groupings campaigning for the parliamentary vote for women. A First Class Honours Graduate in Law, Christabel, a captivating orator, revitalised the women’s suffrage campaign by rousing thousands of women to become suffragettes, and to demand rather than ask politely for their democratic citizenship rights.

June will talk about her full-length biography of Christabel, the first for forty years, which draws upon feminist approaches to biography writing to place her within a network of supportive female friendships. It is based upon an unrivalled range of previously untapped primary sources.

June Purvis is Emeritus Professor of Women’s and Gender History, University of Portsmouth, UK. She has published extensively on the suffragette movement in Edwardian Britain, her Emmeline Pankhurst: A Biography (Routledge, 2002) receiving critical acclaim. She is the Founding and Managing Editor of Women’s History Review, the Editor for a Women’s and Gender Book Series with Routledge, the Chair of Women’s History Network and the Secretary and Treasurer of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History.

Professor Linda Mulcahy joined the Law Department in 2010. Her research focuses on disputes and their resolution and she has studied the socio-legal dynamics of disputes in a number of contexts including the car distribution industry, NHS, divorce, public sector complaints systems and judicial review. She is the first Director of the LSE’s PhD Academy.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

Follow the debate on Twitter: #LSESuffrage18.


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