8/16 Our hotel room has a bay window with a brocade cushion. I am sitting there looking out through tree leaves onto a street just 100 yards from Trafalgar Square with a large fountain and a towering column with Lord Nelson standing
8/17 We revisited the National Portrait Gallery and discovered wonderful portraits: Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature by Leonard William McCo
Christabel Pankhurst by Ethel Wright; and
8/18 We took the underground to Hyde Park where on a Sunday, 111 years ago (June 21, 1908), 30,000 women carrying 700 banners marched in seven processions along different routes for a demonstration and rally. Organized by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, treasurer of the WSPU and co-editor with her husband Frederick of “Votes for Women,” it was said to be the largest demonstration held up to that time in Great Britain. She asked women to wear white and selected purple, white, and green as the official colors. Purple for “dignity,” she said, white for “purity,” and
From the entrance to Hyde Park, we walked a half mile to the Royal Albert Hall, the site of memorable speeches and events held by suffragettes, suffragists, and anti-suffragist. Suffragettes called it their “Temple of Liberty.” Seeing the distinctive dome with the great mosaic frieze come into view, I thought of Helen Ogston, dubbed “The Lady with the Whip,” who interrupted a Liberal Party meeting and used her dog whip to fight off guards
We took the double-decker bus back to Trafalgar Square, where we revisited a statue we had serendipitously discovered located across from the entrance to the National Portrait Gallery: the Edith Cavell Memorial by George Frampton dedicated in 1920. Edith Cavell was a British nurse who tended to soldiers regardless of which side they fought on during World War I. Accused of treason for helping 200 soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, she was tried, convicted, and executed by a German firing squad on October 12,
Tomorrow, 8/19, we have a very early wake-up call for a taxi to the airport. When I get the inevitable question: What did you like best about your trip? Without hesitation I will answer EVERYTHING!