By JL33

“The Unstoppable Letty Pegg” – an Upcoming Jujitsuffragette Novel for Young Readers

Letty Pegg

Something to look forward to  – writer/academic/comedian Iszi Lawrence’s new novel The Unstoppable Letty Pegg has just been made available for pre-order and will go on sale on Jan. 6, 2020.  According to the publishers, it’s:

The story of the suffragettes with the Jiu Jitsu and roller skating left in… this impeccably researched debut novel from Iszi Lawrence shows the fight for women’s suffrage as it really was.

Lettice Pegg’s father is a working-class policeman and her mother is a middle-class suffragette. Stuck between them (and her terrifying grandma) as they argue, Lettice mostly cares about trying to fit in at school and convincing her parents to let her have roller skates and go to the music hall. But, when Lettice sees her mother brutally thrown to the ground by a policeman while on a protest march, her life changes forever. Not all of the women on the march are vulnerable to attack. Some of them have a secret weapon: Jiu Jitsu.

As the suffragettes welcome Lettice to the fight back, things at home go from bad to worse. Can Lettice bring her family back together and keep her new friends?

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“No Man Shall Protect Us” Photo Release Form

Wolf Point Media

1239 West Farwell Ave.

Chicago, IL, 60626

Subject: permission to use photograph in the documentary “No Man Shall Protect Us”

I grant to Wolf Point Media, its representatives and employees the right to use photographs of me and my property in connection with the above-identified subject. I authorize Wolf Point Media, its assigns and transferees to copyright, use and publish the same in print and/or electronically. I agree that Wolf Point Media may use such photographs of me with or without my name as illustration in the documentary “No Man Shall Protect Us”.

I have read and understand the above:

Signature _________________________________

Printed name ______________________________

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A BBC Radio Interview On Suffrajitsu, the Upcoming Play by Horse + Bamboo Theatre

England’s Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company is currently developing Suffrajitsu, an original play celebrating the suffragette Bodyguard through puppetry, music and film.  Aimed at young audiences, the play will begin touring the UK in Autumn 2018; you can learn more about, and support the project via this Crowdfunder site.

In this interview, Horse and Bamboo executive director Esther Ferry-Kennington offers a history of the company and discusses the historical influences and artistic aims of their Suffrajitsu project.

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Suffrajitsu Back in the News as UK Celebrates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

February 6, 2108 marks the centennial anniversary of (limited) women’s suffrage in the UK.  As numerous cultural and media organisations mark the anniversary, here are some current and upcoming projects that focus particularly on “suffrajitsu” – the use of jiujitsu by radical suffagette Bodyguards, circa 1913-14.

The Good Fight


Chicago’s Babes With Blades Theatre Company is currently staging Anne Bertram’s play The Good Fight, which details the history and missions of the suffragette Bodyguard team.  Women’s jiujitsu pioneer and Bodyguard trainer Edith Garrud appears as a character in the play.

Suffrajitsu by Horse + Bamboo Theatre

England’s Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company is currently developing Suffrajitsu, an original play celebrating the suffragette Bodyguard through puppetry, music and film.  Aimed at young audiences, the play will begin touring the UK in Autumn 2018; you can learn more about it, and support the project via this Crowdfunder site.

“The Awesome Art of Suffrajitsu”

The UK fashion and lifestyle magazine Stylist has featured suffrajitsu, including some great original illustrations, in its suffragette centennial issue.

No Man Shall Protect Us

Currently in production, the documentary No Man Shall Protect Us: The Hidden History of the Suffragette Bodyguards will make use of narration, rare archival media and dramatic re-enactments.  Successfully crowdfunded in late 2017 and co-produced by Tony Wolf, author of the Suffrajitsu graphic novel trilogy, the completed documentary will be made freely available online later this year.

Suffrajitsu at the Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, England will be showcasing Edith Garrud’s suffrajitsu as part of the Warrior Women exhibition during mid-late February.

Kitty Marshall: Suffragette Bodyguard at the Museum of London

The Museum of London’s year-long Votes for Women exhibition includes a showcase for Katherine “Kitty” Marshall, who was an active member of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Bodyguard team.  Marshall also wrote the memoir Suffragette Escapes and Adventures, which currently exists in manuscript form as part of the Museum’s suffragette collection.

Kitty and the Cats: Mrs. Pankhurst’s Suffragette Bodyguard and the London Police

Author Emelyne Godfrey’s book on Kitty Marshall and the Bodyguard will be released later in 2018.

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Thanks to all the “No Man Shall Protect Us” backers!

Money shot

The producers of the now-funded documentary No Man Shall Protect Us wish to salute and thank the following people, whose generosity and enthusiasm have allowed the project to enter production:

philip baker
Steven Townshend
Heather Gehron-Rice
Crystal Graves
Katriona Adams
Alyse Middleton
Clarissa
Robert Z’Dario
Becky Moon
Todd Ellner
Libby Beyreis
Scottie Caldwell
Andy Spatz
Lindsay Kovar
Walt McGough
Erin Subramanian
Noël-Marie Lavallee Taylor
Ryan Holman
Kimberly Logan
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Sarah
Emily Wendel
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Esteban
Casey Helms
Backer 1558323873
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Duncan Henry
Victoria Mejia-Gewe
Zelda
Catherine
Ryan Attard
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Katherine ‘Kiki’ Lynskey
Deirdre Root
Liz
Christopher Dillon
Jennifer Thorson
Emma Rountree
Brendan
Josh Messinger
Susanne Jörtsö
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Andrew Peregrine
Mary Davis
Katherine Everett
Anne
Jennifer Bishop
Anne
Dawn Alden
Gail Bailey
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Andrea Sokal
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Matt Campbell
The Radical Tea Towel Company
Sharon Tyson
Kristen Allen-Vogel
Mike Young
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Cristina San Jose
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Jean Marie Linhart
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Mary Frances Bannard
Sylvia Pearce
Cary Williams
Jeff Richardson
Jsweeney
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Krista Betteridge
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Ines
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aylaeh

Helen Young (In Memoriam)

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No Man Shall Protect Us – a Suffrajitsu Documentary Now on Kickstarter!

No Man Shall Protect Us is a new documentary project to be co-produced by Suffrajitsu author Tony Wolf:

(…) closely based on detailed accounts by witnesses, journalists, police constables and radical suffragettes. Narration, graphics and rare archival film will portray the dangerous work of the Bodyguard Society during this spectacular clash of wills and ideologies.

We will also be using a theatrical “black box” docudrama format, with dramatic performances by costumed actors representing Emmeline Pankhurst, martial arts trainer Edith Garrud, Canadian Bodyguard leader Gert Harding, political radical Princess Sophia Duleep Singh and Chief Constable James V. Stevenson of the Glasgow police force.

In collaboration with the Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s production of Anne Bertram’s play The Good Fight, the documentary will also feature dynamic re-enactments of the Bodyguard Society’s origins, training and tactics, performed by a cast of twelve actors.

Check out the Kickstarter page for more info and to support this exciting new project!

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Is Etta Candy, Wonder Woman’s friend in the upcoming movie, a former suffragette?

If you’ll forgive us some speculation, we’d lay even odds that Wonder Woman’s right-hand-gal Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) will be revealed as having an action-packed past as a radical suffragette.

The character of Etta Candy was first introduced in 1942.  A creation of Wonder Woman auteur William Moulton Marston, she was originally the confection-loving de facto leader of a group of spirited young sorority women known as the Holliday Girls, who frequently assisted Wonder Woman in her battles with Nazi spies and other WW2-era evildoers:

The upcoming Wonder Woman movie, however, takes the bold creative step of shifting WW’s “origin story” back a few decades, to the First World War.  In this continuity, Etta Candy is fighter pilot Steve Trevor’s secretary; Trevor’s crash landing on the hidden Mediterranean island of Themyscira is, of course, how the Amazon princess who is to become Wonder Woman is first introduced to “Man’s World”.

Both of Etta’s brief appearances in the theatrical trailers released so far play to her traditional strengths as a feisty comic relief sidekick.  In the first trailer she answers Wonder Woman’s question – “What is a secretary?” – by saying “I go where he tells me to go and I do what he tells me to do”.  WW, clearly a little perturbed by this, replies “Well, where I’m from, that’s called slavery,” which deeply impresses Etta.

The second trailer features another comic coda in which Wonder Woman is trying on an elaborate early 20th century ensemble complete with a flowered hat and a voluminous skirt.  She’s baffled as to how a woman is supposed to fight while thus encumbered; Etta replies that they mostly fight with their principles, but that she herself is “not opposed to engaging in a bit of fisticuffs, should the occasion arise.”

In a WW1 context, and given the fact that this incarnation of Etta Candy is English, it’s very easy to speculate that she may have been a suffragette before joining the armed services.  With the outbreak of war, Women’s Social and Political Union leader Emmeline Pankhurst performed an abrupt political about-face; rather than fighting the government for the right to vote, she told her many followers, they must support King and country for the duration of the crisis.

This was a controversial move and some radical suffragettes refused to comply, but others agreed that “Votes for Women” would become meaningless if England itself fell to German aggression.  In the Suffrajitsu graphic novels, protagonist Persephone Wright, formerly the leader of Mrs. Pankhurst’s covert security team, also joins the war effort:

field-agents

The movie version of Etta is a principled English feminist “not averse to fisticuffs”; here’s hoping that she’ll surprise (and delight) her audience by proving to be a suffragette action heroine in her own right.

 

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Suffrajitsu-inspired fashion

Here’s an intriguing example of modern fashion directly inspired by the lore of the suffragette Amazons.  According to the Beljacobs.com website:

For centuries, sweeping skirts and tight corsets dominated British womenswear. The war in 1914 changed this. As men left to fight, around 1.5 million women took up work, on buses, in factories, as ambulance drivers and window cleaners, and as their roles in society shifted, so – by necessity – did the clothes they wore. Fashion & Freedom, a new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, explores this transformation through fashion and film.

Designer Karin Human was inspired by the ‘Suffrajitsu’, martial-arts trained Suffragettes who formed protective walls around Emmeline Pankhurst during marches. ‘Anywhere Emmeline went, the jiu jitsu’s would follow her,’ says Vydelingum. ‘If they were in a demonstration and needed to get her out quickly, they would surround her and march her out.’ Human’s dress of cotton, leather and nylon contains large pockets for tools and weapons – which the suffrajitsu would have needed.

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