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'Letters of Note Vol. 2': Read a suffragette's advice from 1913

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Last month, EW was thrilled to present a gorgeous letter from David Bowie to a fan from Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note: Volume 2. Now, in honor of Election Day, EW brings you words of advice from a British suffragette in 1913 — as well as a feisty telegram from the great Dorothy Parker on writer’s block.

Excerpts from Letters of Note: Volume 2

BERTHA BREWSTER to DAILY TELEGRAPH

February 1913

Not until the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act in 1928 were women in the UK finally given the same voting rights as men. Campaigners had been pushing for such a development for decades. However, progress had been far too slow for some. In 1903, a small group of frustrated activists, headed by Emmeline Pankhurst, broke away from the Suffragists and chose to attack the system more aggressively by smashing windows, burning down buildings, and chaining themselves to Buckingham Palace, all in an effort to be heard, even if it did mean spending time in prison—and for one of these “suffragettes,” Emily Davison, death, when she stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby. On February 26, 1913, with the protests as forceful as ever, this letter appeared in the Daily Telegraph, written by a suffragette named Bertha Brewster.

“Sir,

Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages;but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual.

1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.

2. Give women the vote.

Yours truly,

Bertha Brewster”

 

DOROTHY PARKER on WRITER’S BLOCK

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