Esther Roper

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Esther Roper
Esther Roper.jpg
Born 4 August 1868
Died 28 April 1938(1938-04-28) (aged 69)
Hampstead, London
Resting place
St John-at-Hampstead
Occupation Organiser, suffragist
Partner(s) Eva Gore-Booth

Esther Roper (4 August 1868 – 28 April 1938) was an English suffragist who was one of the first women to graduate and gain her BA at Owens College in Manchester.[1] She was the daughter of a Manchester factory worker who later became a missionary in Africa.[1]

She was a working woman and a skilled organiser, administrator and fund-raiser — at her best behind the scenes rather than in front. She worked for the women's department of Manchester University and, as the Secretary of the North of England Suffrage Society, she was a committee member of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, led by the veteran Millicent Fawcett, as well as Secretary for the Manchester National Society for Women's Suffrage.

In 1896 she met Irish poet Eva Gore-Booth when they both were staying at Scottish writer George Macdonald's guest house in Bordighera, Italy. They became lifelong lovers.[2]

Together with Eva, she supported the cause of women in various fields such as flower sellers, circus performers, barmaids and coal mine pit girls.[1]

They were prominent pacifists during the First World War, working in the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace. Among other things they helped support the wives and children of imprisoned conscientious objectors.[1][2] After the war they became members of the Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment and worked for prison reform.[citation needed]

She was asthmatic and near-sighted, and little is known of her final years. Constance Markievicz, Eva Gore-Booth's sister, wrote of her: "The more one knows her, the more one loves her, and I feel so glad Eva and she were together, and so thankful that her love was with Eva to the end."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lewis, Gifford (1988), Eva Gore-Booth and Esther Roper, Pandora, ISBN 0-86358-159-5 
  2. ^ a b Eva Gore Booth and Esther Roper, retrieved 27 October 2007 

Gifford Lewis, Booth, Eva Selina Gore (1870–1926), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 29 July 2006

Sonja Tiernan, 'Eva Gore-Booth: An Image of Such Politics,' (Manchester University Press, 2012.)