The ‘madness’ of revolting women…



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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