British Library – 1909 Speech by Christabel Harriette Pankhurst

British Library Link to Audio for Christabel Pankhurst’s 1909 Speech


 This is an amazing link to the British Library’s online website. I’m Facebook friends with the British Library and you should be too!  Today they have posted a link to a page dedicated to a speech that Christabel Pankhurst gave in 1909 several hours after her release from Holloway Prison. She was in prison for organising public demonstrations by women fighting for enfranchisement.

This is an amazing find. Older recordings really expose how our voices have changed in the past century. It also shows how far we have come as a society. If you believe in democracy (I do, though it is flawed when such a small percentage of the population choose to vote), then this is an important moment in Western history.


This recording should remind us (especially our friends in the United States facing an election that will impact the entire planet due the economy influence of that country on the international stage) that democracy is something that people fought and died for. The suffragettes did not know we would face 10-page ballots in Florida (that’s terrible) but regardless, Christabel Pankhurst would say that it is our duty as citizens to stand in that line, no matter how long it takes. Pankhurst went to  to fight for her democratic rights. What are you willing to do to fight for yours?


Thank you to the British Library for posting this today. The work that your publicly funded institution accomplishes every day astounds me. As a proud citizen of the commonwealth, I want to express my appreciation for the hard work that you do in order to preserve history and archive documents from around the world. It is this work that inspires me to continue my path as a scholar. I am humbled.


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