The UK is far ahead of the United States in terms of showering attention on the suffrage movement. And with a new book, Sophia, published by Bloomsbury and written by Anita Anand, 2015 will be a noteworthy year as far as reinforcing the UK’s trailblazing performance. Controversial suffrage activist Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, the subject of the Sophia biography, not only had American suffrage movement associations, but her connections to the English royalty made her stand out among her contemporaries.
The 2012 centennial observance of the death of English women’s suffrage martyr Emily Davison set a pace of public awareness of the suffrage movement that hasn’t stopped since 2012. And the much-anticipated fall 2015 release of the UK feature film “Suffragette” only adds to the buzz. The “Suffragette” feature film is directed by Saran Gavron, written by Abi Morgan. It has an exciting cast including Meryl Streep who plays English suffrage matriarch and activist Emmeline Pankhurst.
The Bloombury advance publicity describes the story this way: “In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond.
“Exiled to England, the dispossessed Maharajah transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul palace, its grounds stocked with leopards, monkeys and exotic birds. Sophia, god-daughter of Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman: presented at court, afforded grace-and-favour lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and photographed wearing the latest fashions for the society pages. But when, in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India, she returned a revolutionary.” For more.
Bloomsbury acquired the book in 2012 and paid a well-publicized six-figure advance to Anita Anand, a well-known British broadcast journalist. It’s expected that the book will elicit considerable interest in the UK, the US, Australia, and India.
OTHER RECENT NEWS: UK novelist lists top ten books about suffragettes and the English suffrage movement in newspaper column. Check it out and enjoy. Women’s suffrage highlighted in 2015 NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo inaugural address. Meryl Streep gives interviews about upcoming “Suffragette” film from the UK expected to be released in fall of 2015. Highlights from SuffrageCentennials.com in 2014.
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