Author joins in Emily tribute events

Author Janet MacLeod Trotter.
Author Janet MacLeod Trotter.

AN author with links to women’s rights activists is joining in a year of tributes to Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

Janet MacLeod Trotter, who lives in Morpeth, has brought out a special edition of her novel No Greater Love, which features the Suffragette as a background character, to mark the 100th anniversary of her death.

Ms Davison, who lived in Longhorsley, died after falling in front of the King’s horse during the Epsom Derby in 1913 and is buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Morpeth.

Events are being planned to celebrate her life and Mrs MacLeod Trotter, whose own family members were Suffragettes, is keen to play a part.

The new edition of her novel, which was formerly called The Suffragette, is a story of one woman’s fight for justice and love, following the character Maggie Beaton, who was raised in the slums of Tyneside and joined the women’s rights campaign.

Mrs MacLeod Trotter has written a new ending for the book and she will be signing copies at Morpeth’s Rutherfords department store next week.

She said: “When Emily Wilding Davison did her speeches she would go into the Market Square in Morpeth, just a stone’s throw from Rutherfords.

“Morpeth is doing a lot to celebrate her centenary so that’s why I thought I would bring out a new version of the book.

“Very often the Suffragette movement is associated only with London, but there were many brave women in the North who got involved in the fight for the vote and this novel is a tribute to them.

“My own family has links with the women’s emancipation movement as three of my Scottish great aunts were Suffragette members of the Women’s Social and Political Union and my great grandmother once brandished her umbrella at Winston Churchill in Edinburgh and shouted, ‘Votes for Women, Mr Churchill’.

“Emily Wilding Davison was a great figurehead for Morpeth and for women and Rutherfords is an iconic place on the town’s high street.”

Rutherfords owner Jane Rutherford said: “This is the first time we have ever hosted a book signing, but we thought it would be a really special way of celebrating the life of Emily Wilding Davison.

“Rutherfords has been part of Morpeth since 1846 and we felt it was appropriate to honour the life of a famous Morpeth martyr who helped to achieve so much for women on the centenary of her death.

“Janet is a very popular Morpeth author so we’re honoured that she is coming along to sign copies of her novel.”

The book signing will coincide with International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8, and follows a memorial service for Ms Davison at St Mary’s Church earlier in the day.

Mrs MacLeod Trotter will be at the Bridge Street store from 1.30pm.

The new paperback version of No Greater Love costs £8.99. It will be launched at Rutherfords and is also available as an e-book.