By way of this blog’s recognition of International Women’s Day, here’s a tip o’ the hat to the most remarkable Edith Margaret Garrud, suffragette ju jutsu teacher. Amongst other impressive achievements, she taught the all-women Bodyguard corps specifically for protecting key Suffragettes against the police. She was introduced to the art by the perhaps better-remembered Edward Barton-Wright, he of Bartitsu fame (who was himself a fascinating character and pioneer, and who taught Sherlock Holmes his fighting technique, as far as such a thing is possible).
Anyway, on the topic of Suffrage . . . Royal Holloway (now of the University of London) was built as a women’s college and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886 (hence the Royal). Inevitably, given the minority status of women’s education at the time Holloway was built, several key members of the Suffragette movement studied there including, for example, Emily Davison. This is pertinent because I have a number of connections with the place. Not only do I live very close to it, have studied there, worked there, trained in at least three different martial arts there (technically true), wrote a large part of one of the Exploding Pen books in the Victorian library there, but to top it all I was once commissioned to produce the Royal Holloway Board Game there. Yes, really.
If you’re interested in the Suffragettes, as clearly — today of all days — Fudebakudo expects you to be, I highly recommend the defaced penny episode of the BBC’s excellent “A History of the World in 100 Objects” series.