History lecture on the Great Pilgrimage of 1913

In June social historian Jane Robinson visited Wycombe Abbey to give a lecture on the Great Pilgrimage of 1913, a non-violent march organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Robinson is the author of the recent bestseller, Hearts and Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote, on the same topic.

Ms Robinson’s tale of the suffragist march was littered with humorous stories and although it had a light-hearted tone, it also served as a reminder to the girls that the suffragettes were not the only organisation campaigning for universal suffrage. Throughout the lecture the girls were amazed by the incredible strength of every woman on the march, and inspired by the impact of every small contribution to the overall cause.

When the focus of the lecture shifted to a conversation about anti-suffrage sentiment, interesting points were raised, providing some thought-provoking topics of debate. The questions raised at the end of the lecture were both thoughtful and stimulating and the discussion vivacious. We are certain that the Great Pilgrimage of 1913 will deepen our interest in exploring the history of the suffragists, and more importantly, the ordinary woman – an area of study that has been ignored for too long.