(2) Emily Pankhurst was sent to a local girl's school in Manchester. At the age of fifteen she went to a finishing school in Paris. This account appeared in her autobiography, My Own Life , in 1914. The education of boys was considered a much more serious matter than the education of girls. My parents… discussed the question of my brothers' education as a matter of real importance. My education and that of my sister were scarcely discussed at all. Of course we went to a carefully selected girls' school, but beyond the facts that the headmistress was a good woman and that all the pupils were girls of my own class, nobody seemed concerned. A girl's education at that time seemed to have for its prime object the art of 'making a home attractive'. When I was fifteen I was sent to school in Paris. The school was under the direction of Marchef Girard a woman who believed that girls' education should be quite as thorough as the education of boys. She included chemistry and other sciences in the course, and in addition to embroidery she had her girls taught bookkeeping. When I was nineteen I finally returned from school in Paris and took my place in my father's home as a finished young lady.
(1) In her book Memories of a Militant , Annie Kenney explained the use of the hunger strike. In 1909 Wallace Dunlop went to prison and defied the long sentences that were being given by adopting the hunger-strike. 'Release or Death' was her motto. From that day, July 5th, 1909, the hunger-strike was the greatest weapon we possessed against the Government… before long all Suffragette prisoners were on hunger-strike, so the threat to pass long sentences on us had failed. Sentences grew shorter.
(3) Constance Lytton was force-fed in October 1909. An account of her experiences was included in her book Prison and Prisoners . Two of the wardresses took hold of my arms, one held my head and one my feet. The doctor leant on my knees as he stooped over my chest to get at my mouth. I shut my mouth and clenched my teeth… The doctor seemed annoyed at my resistance and he broke into a temper as he pried my teeth with the steel implement. The pain was intense and at last I must have given way, for he got the gap between my teeth, when he proceeded to turn it until my jaws were fastened wide apart. Then he put down my throat a tube, which seemed to me much too wide and something like four feet in length. I choked the moment it touched my throat. Then the food was poured in quickly; it made me sick a few seconds after it was down. I was sick all over the doctor and wardresses. As the doctor left he gave me a slap on the cheek. Presently the wardresses left me. Before long I heard the sounds of the forced feeding in the next cell to mine. It was almost more than I could bear, it was Elsie Howley. When the ghastly process was over and all quiet. I tapped on the wall and called out at the top of my voice. 'No Surrender', and then came the answer in Elsie's voice, 'No Surrender'.
Annie Kenney experienced the Cat and Mouse Act for the first time in April 1912. She explained what happened in her autobiography, Memories of a Militant . I had as my visitors the matron, the Governor, the doctor, the clergyman, and the visiting magistrate. They all asked me to eat and drink, but nothing would tempt me. The matron, the doctor and I became good friends. The doctor was ever so kind and did his best to persuade me to have fruit, but fruit was no use to me. "I must be out in three days, doctor, or I'll die on your hands!" And the good doctor did not want a death. In three days the gates were opened… Mrs. Brackenbury lent us her house at 2 Camden Hill Square. We called it 'Mouse Castle'. All the mice went there from prison and were nursed back to health and prepared for further danger work… When I recovered I was re-arrested.
Manchester Guardian (11th March, 1914) At the National Gallery, yesterday morning, the famous Rokeby Venus , the Velasquez picture which eight years ago was bought for the nation by public subscription for £45,000, was seriously damaged by a militant suffragist connected with the Women's Social and Political Union. The immediate occasion of the outrage was the rearrest of Mrs Pankhurst at Glasgow on Monday. Yesterday was a public day at the National Gallery. The woman, producing a meat chopper from her muff or cloak, smashed the glass of the picture, and rained blows upon the back of the Venus. A police officer was at the door of the room, and a gallery attendant also heard the smashing of the glass. They rushed towards the woman, but before they could seize her she had made seven cuts in the canvas.