Morpeth author publishes new edition of suffragette novel

A POPULAR North East author has published a new edition of one of her novels to help mark the 100th anniversary of the death of famed women’s rights campaigner Emily Wilding Davison.

A POPULAR North East author has published a new edition of one of her novels to help mark the 100th anniversary of the death of famed women’s rights campaigner Emily Wilding Davison.

Janet MacLeod Trotter, who lives in Morpeth, Northumberland, has brought out the special edition of No Greater Love to help her home town record the centenary of the suffragette’s death in June 1913.

Next month, she will sign copies of the paperback book in the town’s Rutherford’s department store, a short distance from where Emily Davison used to make her rousing speeches in the market square. The suffragette, who was originally from Blackheath, moved with her mother to Longhorsley, near Morpeth, when her father died.

A leading figure in the campaign for women’s right to vote, she died after running out in front of King George V’s horse Anmer during the 1913 Epsom Derby.

She suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries, and died in hospital four days later. She is buried in a family plot at St Mary’s Church in Morpeth.

Janet MacLeod Trotter, who has written 16 books, mainly historical romance and mystery novels, will sign copies of No Greater Love in Rutherford’s on Friday March 8 from 1.30pm.

The novel, which was originally called The Suffragette, has been given a completely new ending, and is described as a heart-rending story of one woman’s fight for justice and love. It tells the tale of Maggie Beaton, who was raised in the slums of Edwardian Tyneside and joins the suffragette movement.

Emily Davison features as a background character. Janet said: “When Emily Davison did her speeches, she would go into the market square in Morpeth, just a stone’s throw from Rutherford’s. Morpeth is doing a lot to celebrate her centenary so that’s why I thought I would bring out a new version of the book.

“Very often the suffragette movement is associated only with London, but there were many brave women in the North who got involved in the fight for the vote, and this novel is a tribute to them.

“My own family has links with the women’s emancipation movement as three of my Scottish great aunts were suffragette members of the Women’s Social and Political Union.”

Rutherfords’ co-owner, Jane Rutherford, said: “This is the first time we have hosted a book signing, but we thought it would be a really special way of celebrating the life of Emily Davison.

“Rutherford’s has been part of Morpeth since 1846 and we felt it was appropriate to honour the life of a famous Morpeth martyr on the centenary of her death.”

The new version of No Greater Love, priced £8.99, is launched on March 8 and will also be available as an ebook.

There were many brave women in the North who got involved in the fight for the vote

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