You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »
No wheelchair access
Vanishing for the vote tells the story of what happened on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911. The Liberal government, which still denied women the vote, ordered every household to comply with its census requirements. So suffragette organisations urged women to boycott this census.
Many did. Emily Wilding Davison, the most celebrated evader, hid overnight in a cupboard inside Parliament. Elsewhere in central London, 500 women and 70 men spent the night at the Aldwych Skating Rink.
Other women decided to comply. They wanted to provide Liberal government reformers like Lloyd George with accurate information - to help improve future health and welfare conditions.
In York, suffragette Annie Coultate evaded. The census enumerator recorded: ‘she was away from home’ and had probably joined the mass evasion in the city centre.
In this talk, Jill Liddington explores the ‘battle for the census’ arguments in spring 1911 and maps the suffragette boycott across the three Yorkshire Ridings.
Jill Liddington’s first book, One Hand Tied Behind Us (Virago 1978) quickly became a suffrage classic. Rebel Girls: Their fight for the Vote (Virago, 2006) was shortlisted for the Portico Book Prize.