Monday, October 12, 2015


On general release from today, the film Suffragette puts fictional character Maud Watts at the very heart of the Votes for Women campaign.

The film focuses on the increasingly violent tactics employed by the suffragettes and the level of danger the women were prepared to risk in the battle for enfranchisement.

Confusing pre release publicity announced that Helena Bonham Carter would be playing Swindon suffragette Edith New, however, with the film set in 1912, it soon became obvious that the Helena Bonham Carter character was based on a different source, as our Edith had already returned to teaching by that date.

Carey Mulligan gave a compelling performance as young mother Maud Watts whose early involvement with the Votes for Women campaign begins because of the plight of fellow laundry worker Violet Miller, played by Anne Marie Duff.

The stories of Maud and Violet throw emphasis on the working class members of the Votes for Women campaign in contrast to the more familiar upper class, elegant ladies dressed in white. The downtrodden women who might seem less obvious participants in the campaign yet those most in need of empowerment.

The film is a must for the disaffected voter, both male and female, who feels that politicians at local and national level do not speak for them. These women fought hard and sacrificed their reputations, their health and sometimes their families so that women today could have a vote.

Suffragette is showing at Cineworld Regent Circus and Shaw Ridge all this week.

And to hear the true story of Edith New, join us on a guided walk of Old Town Saturday, October 17 meet at the Arts Centre at 11am and visit some of the places significant in Edith's life.

Anne Marie Duff (left) and Carey Mulligan give a powerful and poignant performance

Maud Watts

Helena Bonham Carter plays chemist Edith Ellyn

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