BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 14243

What was protest and imprisonment like for Suffragettes?

What was protest and imprisonment like for Suffragettes?
Key Info
  • What was protest and imprisonment like for Suffragettes?
  • Duration: 02:48
  • A letter written by a suffragette helps to show what it was like to be a woman campaigning for the vote in the early 1900s. Nellie Taylor was one of over 200 women arrested in early March 1912 during a window smashing campaign in London. The letter offers a glimpse of a loving wife and mother driven to extreme measures by her faith in the suffragette cause. The letter describes the violent actions that led to her arrest and the tough experience of being imprisoned. It suggests how some middle class women tried to adjust to their new situation. Michael Wood refers to the impact of World War 1 on the suffrage campaign and asks if women like Nellie Taylor were responsible for women gaining the vote in 1918. First broadcast on 'Michael Wood's Story of England' on BBC4 in October 2010.
  • Subject:



    Women's History: Post-1850

  • Keywords: Suffrage, suffragette, women’s suffrage movement, women, middle class, militancy, direct action, voting, protest, Asquith, Kibworth, Leicestershire, letter, artefacts, MichaelWoodsStoryofEngland
Ideas for use in class
  • Nellie Taylor's letter could be used to introduce the intensification of Suffragette protest in 1912. This would be confirmed by further research and support by using #9877, #958 and 12106 to cross-reference this narrative. Michael Wood's closing question could be used to prompt an evaluation of the reasons why some women gained the vote in 1918. The consequences of Nellie Taylor's individual actions and the issues of class raised in the story of Nellie Taylor's letter give a good opportunity to explore the more complex context of the Representation of the People Act. Pupils could be asked to consider how far they agree with the response of the archivist questioned by Michael Wood.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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