The home of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was on the site where the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel now stands on the east side of Russell Square. There’s a commemorative plaque on the side of the building in Bernard St. Old black and white footage shows a huge procession of white-clad women passing through Russell Square for Suffragette Emily Davison‘s funeral at St George’s Bloomsbury.
‘Literature was an important part of the Suffragette movement, using words in a variety of ways to campaign for the vote. Suffragettes wrote propaganda in the form of marching songs, engaging short stories and vibrant poetry. In addition, they would create longer pieces, including fiction and memoirs, providing space to explore the complexity of fighting for the vote.’
Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel is delving into its rich history and local literary connections as it launches the House of Pankhurst. The House of Pankhurst is the hotel’s brand new creative residency and, to pay homage to Bloomsbury’s literary heritage, the first focus of the residency will be poetry.
House of Pankhurst, incumbent Poet, Hayley Frances comments: I was unaware of the hotel’s connection to Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement, so I was eager to get involved as this is a matter close to my heart. A lot of my work explores peoples’ emotions and wellbeing, something that is extremely relevant to the Suffragette movement. I am honoured to be selected as the first resident and to see the poem come to life around the hotel is something of a dream.