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June 01 , 2009

Norah & Emma


Based on the true story of Norah Dacre Fox (aka Elam), this fictionalised biography follows Norah on her political journey from suffragette to fascist in England during the first half of the 1900s, an era of radical politics encompassing women's struggles to get the vote, two world wars, the rise of fascism, communism, and the poverty of the 1930s.

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Stubborn and forceful, Norah was ever the rebel. Was she born in an era which suited her inherent character traits, or was her difficult personality forged by the political campaigns she took on? Her political forays led to her meeting and working with prominent characters such as Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, Mary Allen, Nancy Astor, Unity Mitford, Diana and Oswald Mosley and William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) to name but a few.

So in the summer of 1914 we meet Emma, a Holloway prison wardress assigned to force-feed Norah, an ardent suffragette, who has risen through the ranks of Emmeline Pankhurst's WSPU to become its General Secretary. The story follows them as they cross paths during the interwar years, until May 1940, when Emma, now promoted to prison officer, is assigned to guard Norah when she is arrested and interned in Holloway as a fascist traitor under the 18B war time regulations.

This is a profoundly affecting story that examines the lives of two women, one real and one fictional, whose paths cross in a maelstrom of social change. How they cope with the struggles they face and the effects on them and their families is told in a story that explores their individual responses to the conventions society used to shackle them.

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