Emily leads author back to her own roots

Author  Maureen Howes with her new book about Emily Wilding Davison.
Author Maureen Howes with her new book about Emily Wilding Davison.

The Morpeth genealogist whose research re-wrote the history of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison is going back to her own roots to spread word of her work.

Maureen Howes, who spent 10 years researching her book Emily Wilding Davison – A Suffragette’s Family Album, found that the women’s rights’ campaigner did not intend to kill herself at the 1913 Epsom Derby when she stepped in front of the King’s horse, as had been thought.

And she discovered an entirely different Emily to the commonly held view of a ‘mad, fanatical martyr’.

The book received national attention in the centenary of Emily’s death last year and went down a storm in Mrs Howes’ home village of Wincobank, near Sheffield.

Local MP David Blunkett was keen to meet the author so this week she will travel back to her native community for a series of school visits and talks.

She will also discuss the Sheffield suffrage movement, present certificates at her old school, dine with Mr Blunkett and catch up with former classmate Alma Challoner, who was the first female amateur boxing judge and promoter.

Mrs Howes said: “Life has gone full circle for me, I am returning to my roots.

“It is amazing that Alma and I have both lived a lifetime apart and now, at the age of 76, we are coming together again, all through the mysterious power of Emily.”