Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary. Anita Anand.
Anita Anand has performed a great service to history by uncovering the story of Princess Sophia and sharing it with us in this insightful book.
In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father was Maharajah Duleep Singh, heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs. He was eventually exiled to England, where he transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul palace, the grounds were stocked with leopards, monkeys and exotic birds. Sophia, who’s Godmother was Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman: presented at court, given grace and favour lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and photographed wearing the latest fashions for society pages….she was an ‘It’ girl of the time!
However, this all came to a head when in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India and returned a revolutionary.
She was actively involved in many causes, in particular pioneering the movement for women’s voting rights, funding suffragette groups and leading the cause. She refused to pay taxes, frustrating the government and officials.
This book tells Sophia’s story in a very engaging and forthright way. It’s so inspiring to read of this incredible Asian woman who was motivated by injustice to risk her personal reputation, wealth and relationship with government and royalty to further advance the right of women.
It is very easy to take for granted many of the rights women have in the UK whilst recognising we still need to make progress in the areas of equal pay. We stand on the soldiers of giants such as Sophia!
Thoroughly recommend this book for a motivating read. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?