Tag Archives: Caroline Dunford

Caroline Dunford: A Death for a Cause

 

A Death for a Causesuff

I always vote. Whether it’s a local, general or European election, I’ll be there making my X on the paper. When friends have commented on this commitment to voting – a surprising amount of people don’t bother  – I used to jokingly reply that if I didn’t vote I was sure the ghost of Emmeline Pankhurst would haunt me. However, it was only  when I was researching for the latest Euphemia mystery, A Death for a Cause, that I came to appreciate how very much suffragettes did to liberate British women.

“I used to jokingly reply that if I didn’t vote I was sure the ghost of Emmeline Pankhurst would haunt me.”

On the 6th February 1918 women over the age of 30 got the right to vote. Let’s think about that. It’s less than one hundred years since women have been able to exercise the democratic right to vote. Or put another way, my grandmother wasn’t allowed to vote. As a woman she was not deemed fit. One glance at the news will tell you that there are still plenty of places left the world over where women do not have equal rights to men. In Britain we’re lucky and it is down to the efforts of the bands of women from all classes, who spoke up, marched and protested, that we have the rights we do. They endured imprisonment, permanent health damage from force feeding and even attacks (from both men and women) who did not agree with their cause.

Euphemia is inspired by my Great Grandmother, who left a life of privilege and wealth, after arguing with her father, to go into service. She never returned to her home, but instead married a tobacconist and had thirteen children, all of whom survived infancy. Like her, Euphemia is a strong woman struggling to make a place for herself in a world where the only future for women of her class was either to marry or cast herself on the mercy of relatives.

But in A Death for a Cause, Euphemia, who considers herself liberally minded and an armchair suffragette, is brought up against the reality of the brutality inflicted upon women asking for no more than the some of the rights men automatically gain at birth. She is introduced to a world where women are prepared to smash windows, sabotage telephone exchanges and even set fire bombs in the name of female emancipation. To be fair although the suffragettes did adopt the motto of ‘deeds not words’ there was some division within the ranks of how far it was right to go for the cause.

But for a long time their efforts were in vain. Prime Minister Asquith appeared to simply not take them seriously no matter what they did. He was known as a lover of women (in the literal sense), but the thought they might have equal intelligence to men was preposterous to him.

Women were constantly under-rated. Even when women began to be admitted to the universities, obviously to all female colleges, there were violent reactions from male students. To begin with women might study the same subjects, sit and pass examinations, but they not awarded degrees. Just as women who studied medicine where not, at first, allowed to practise.

It’s difficult for British women today to imagine this, but it’s true. It took an army of strong women to make a difference. We need to take the time to remember them – and always vote!

A Death for a cause

 

 

 

If you’ve been excited about the film Suffragette then you’ll love this new release A Death for a Cause which shares similar themes! Pre-order today or buy tomorrow! Not long to wait! 

 

 

Caroline Dunford on her latest book (plus giveaway!)

Caroline at the launch of Playing for Love

Caroline at the launch of Playing for Love

My love affair with the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival began in my early twenties. Like most good love affairs it has been filled with both intense passion and times when we did not speak at all. My novel, Playing for Love, is rooted in the joys and heartbreaks this relationship.

Having walked out of my first office job after three weeks I ended up working on a small community newspaper pestering every newspaper around for miles for a real job.  One letter landed on the desk of the arts correspondent for The Edinburgh Evening News, and as one of his reviewers had gone into hospital, he took a chance on me. I can’t even remember the title of the first play I reviewed, but it was followed by many more. And the Edinburgh Festival made its way into my life. As a student I had barely noticed it. But in those heady days newspapers did a vast amount of festival coverage and it wasn’t uncommon for me to see six plays on a festival day and to be phoning in my reviews at 2 or 3 am. (This, obviously before, the advent of the internet.)

I remember those days with great affection. The Festival Fringe wasn’t then the mighty throbbing beast it is today. Wandering around at 1am in the city centre I felt quite safe. I felt embraced by the  friendliness and vivacity of a city that had no intention of sleeping for several weeks as it celebrated the arts from all across the world. I prided myself on being a fair reviewer, so that when I eventually became a playwright myself I could hold my head up high. Although, to be fair, I have never put on a play during the Fringe. That takes a level of financial stability and insanity I have yet to reach.

Today, the festivals are enormous. As exciting as ever, but you need a distinct level of bravery to walk down the Royal Mile during festival time. In my novel, Playing for Love, Annie, who has been living an isolated life in the Cotswold, has a panic attack when she sees the massed throngs for the first time. She runs screaming through their midst and people part, partly to avoid being run down and partly because they think she might be doing some kind of performance theatre.

Into this story I have poured  all my love of the Edinburgh Festivals as well as exposing its more bitter-sweet nature. I have delved into my experiences as both a critic and a playwright and I hope brought to life a festival adventure that gives you a real taste of what it is like to be in the city at this time.

Now, Edinburghers like myself, are once more relaxing. Having your home city double in size (literally) brings a wealth of issues. We flee to the out of town retail parks rather than brave city centre traffic, but equally we elbow with the best to see the end of festival fireworks display.

My hope is that Playing for Love will keep the festival alive for those that are already yearning for next summer and for those who have never been, shed light on what is really a unique five weeks party celebrating the arts.

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Fancy winning yourself a copy of warm-hearted new novel from acclaimed writer Caroline Dunford? We have an ebook of Playing for Love up for grabs!

Just email [email protected] with your answer to the following question.

Which festival inspired the book?

 

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Shiver: Accent’s Spooky Shorts for Hallowe’en

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Accent Press are proud to announce Shiver, a selection of spooky, scintillating, and scary stories from some of Accent Press’s best-loved authors. Featuring gruesome crime from Bill Kitson and Andrea Frazer, a frighteningly modern fairy tale from Helena Fairfax, ghostly goings-on from Christina Jones, David Rogers, Jane Risdon, Marie Laval, and Tricia Maw, a twisted take on a national pastime from Cara Cooper, and the supernatural side of reality TV from Caroline Dunford.So this Hallowe’en, if you’re hankering for a haunting, could murder a mystery, or are prepared to be scared – let Accent make you shiver.