Frankenstein, Freedom and Suffragettes: Forged in Hackney

Collage Walk for Bookshop Crawl Weekend

Like a little radical history? Love books? Enjoy big ideas from famous Hackney figures who rocked the boat for reform? On London Bookshop Crawl Weekend, we celebrated 100 years since women entered Parliament for the first time, 200 years since Mary Shelley published Frankenstein and saw the latest exhibition at Hackney Museum: “Making Her Mark: 100 years of women’s activism”.

Wading through Stoke Newington’s rich river of reform-seekers, looking into its longtime literary landscape and digging up some seriously radical women’s history, we explored how Hackney was at the centre of a dramatic conflict of ideas and thoughts on social justice – once written off as too extreme – that we now take for granted: ideas that permit us to be who we are today.

We discussed the idea of how both Frankenstein and women in Parliament are the legacy of Hackney residents like Mary Wollstonecraft, who they shocked the 18th century Establishment with their ideas on equality.

Suffragettes are much in the news right now as the partial-victory of 1918 is commemorated, but with an Enlightenment pen that was sharper than the Patriarchal status quo sword, Mary Wollstonecraft started chipping away at a wall of prejudice with a work that was a wake up call to the big thinkers of turn-of-the-century Europe: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Ahead of more forthcoming Hackney Tours literary walks of, where we’ll be exploring everything from 1700s reformers to 21st century pranksters, all the money from this inaugural walk is going to Abney Park Cemetery Trust and the campaign for the first ever monument to Mary Wollstonecraft.

Due to demand this walk is likely to be repeated in March. Get in touch for more info.

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