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The 1913 Derby - Source related study.

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Introduction

History coursework: Assessment objectives 2 and 3: The 1913 Derby 1. We can tell a lot from source A an account written by Emily Davison about her attempts to kill herself, while she was an inmate in Holloway prison. Miss Davison gives us her own personal account of her attempt to kill herself and gives a blow by blow detail of how she tries to do it. This account is bound to be a very accurate source as she wrote it shortly after the incidents occurred. She writes exactly what she did what she felt and also what she saw. Davison says "As soon as I got onto the corridor, I climbed the railing and threw myself out onto the wire netting". This quote clearly shows that she was more than willing to kill herself with no hesitation whatsoever, she was willing to die for the suffragette movement. The extract shows clearly that she was very determined to kill herself as shown by the fact that when she fails the first time that she kept looking for other ways to inflict damage on herself. When she failed one attempt she would wait for the guards to relax their watch and then she would try to kill herself again when this attempt failed after she was caught by the netting she decided to try to hurl herself from the netting onto the stairs. ...read more.

Middle

He even suggested according to other sources she might just have been trying to cross the racecourse though he suggests this was highly unlikely. The Times writer takes the typical male attitude of the time that the suffragettes were just silly women that would never get what they want. While Pankhurst as the leader of the suffragettes will of course take the opposite position, that what Davison did was a heroic and brave thing to do for the cause of women's rights. 4. Source F is a first hand account from a reliable source that was close to where the incident took place. This source is accurate as it matches other account given at the time and reported in the press. Though this account differs slightly in that the author was so close she is able to detail the emotion that Davison felt in the run up to the incident. Is the source reliable? There are several points, I think I will need to address when assessing this: These points are * The author * The time the extract was written * Any bias I will first address the author. The author was a known suffragette. She was at the races so the account is a first hand source she had met Davison and so was able to identify her on the day. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs Pankhurst believed Davison was prepared to die for the cause and that she was proud to become the first suffragette martyr. But also in source D Mrs Pankhurst mentions Davison grabbed the reins of the horse. Why would she want to do this if all she wanted to do was to die? Source C and B pictures showing Tattenham corner could back up either point A or B. It could be viewed as suicide to jump out into the path of a galloping horse on a blind bend. Or it could indicate Davison made a mistake in her planning and hadn't pick the right spot to disrupt the race. I find source F a rather romantic view of a sad event and not to be used as evidence to support point A or B. I think that both interpretation have sources that could back them up, but I believe that she went to stop the horse and pin a flag onto its bridle simply because everything leading up to her death points to this. The items found on her and her impressive cool make it seem to me that she was not there to purposely die. She seemed so full of life and had plans and tickets for the time after the race she had been practicing stopping horses, so I think that she wanted to stop it. I think that the only reason that she died was through poor planning and inexperience. ...read more.

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