Sunday 14 October 2012

Quotation Station - Richard Pankhurst

"Life is nothing without enthusiasms."

Richard Pankhurst (Richard Marsden Pankhurst)

Pretty much my whole knowledge of the Pankhursts is derived from Barbara Castle`s book Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst, which I`ve owned for about twenty years and only read twice, so I can`t claim to be an authority on the subject.

The Pankhursts are chiefly associated in the public mind with the Suffragette movement, of course. On wider issues, their endless idealogical twistings and turnings can make unintentionally humorous reading.

Richard M Pankhurst began his political life as a Conservative, went on to become a radical Liberal and eventually began to associate himself with socialist causes of his day such as the Fabian Society and the Independent Labour Party. His wife Emmeline joined her husband in his campaigning for the Independent Labour Party but ended her days a Conservative.

Of their three daughters, Adela was a founding member of the Australian Communist Party but like her mother eventually moved to the right. Christabel evetually became a Second Adventist and disowned her Suffragette past, whilst Sylvia was at one point so far to the left she thought Lenin too moderate.

In fairness to Sylvia, in her post-Communist period she continued to apply herself tirelessly and indeed selflessly to a variety of causes, in some ways anticipating later developments in progressive thinking, for instance in her involvement with Africa. Her son, the younger Richard (Richard Keir Pethick Pankhurst) lives in Ethiopia and is a well-respected author/historian.

Perhaps for Sylvia another of Richard M Pankhurst`s sayings is also relevant ;  "Every struggling cause shall be ours."

Saturday 6 October 2012

More Hoonaloons For Webdubs

Having been relatively high-minded for the last couple of postings, I still have to make a living !

Here are a couple of recent additions to our stock that may be of interest ;

At 5394 in our listings is Alex La Guma`s A Walk in the Night and Other Stories, with an introduction by Nahem Yousaf.
Prior to leaving South Africa in 1966, La Guma (1925 - 1985) had been active in anti-apartheid causes and the labour movement, as had his father before him, and was among the defendants at the so-called Treason Trial. He pursued his career as a writer whilst in exile, as well as continuing an involvement in the social/political issues of his homeland.
At 5399 is Ian Dewhirst`s The Story of a Nobody ; A Working Class Life 1880 - 1939
Dewhirst has written a number of books about Yorkshire in general and Keighley in particular. 
 Taking as his starting point an old school photograph showing a nine-year old Arthur Illingworth - an ordinary man, the `nobody` of the title - and his friends, Dewhirst has told the story of Arthur and the times through which he lived, including World War One and the Depression of the `30s.
I`ve only picked out a couple of titles here. Our monthly online newsletter can be found at , and further details of a couple of other titles can be found at and .
To view our entire stock, click here ; .
Thanks for your interest,