As America prepares to head for the polls to decide whether to elect its first female president, it’s worth noting how far women have come in terms of achieving a political voice. I’m pleased to welcome author Lucienne Boyce to HistoryWithATwist. Lucienne’s book, The Bristol Suffragettes, is a timely reminder of the ingrained social attitudes that early campaigners for women’s rights had to battle against in their bid for political equality.
In June 1914, Joan Lavender Guthrie, a 24-year-old actress also known as Laura Grey, wrote a final letter to her mother and then committed suicide by taking an overdose of veronal. She was pregnant. The coroner’s verdict was “suicide during temporary insanity”. In court a tragic story emerged of prostitution and addiction to both drugs and alcohol. A doctor determined that Joan had been mentally unstable ever since she self-harmed herself aged 16.
These all seemed sufficient reasons to account for…
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