Ethel Smyth

Standard Name: Smyth, Ethel
Birth Name: Ethel Mary Smyth
All of ES 's writings are richly autobiographical. They provide an acute and open account of her experience as a woman entering a strictly delimited male field (in her case that of composing large-scale musical works). Her friend Vita Sackville-West somewhat waspishly suggested that ESmight concisely have entitled her successive books ME ONE, ME TWO, ME THREE, and so on.
St John, Christopher. Ethel Smyth. Longmans, Green.
As a passionate suffragist, ES wrote to show how these wretched sex-considerations were really the fashioning factor of my life.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
In particular, her work supports women in music, expresses her own frustrations with exclusion from English musical life, and analyses the complex of public interest, middlemen, and other conditions that I call the Machine.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Nina Hamnett
In the same year that she published her first book, NH also contributed an essay, What I Wore in the Nineties, to a book of childhood reminiscences compiled by Ethel Smyth and entitled Little...
Cultural formation Vernon Lee
VL also gathered followers whom Ethel Smyth called cultes: women whose admiration for her intellectual and social successes was often accompanied by erotic feeling, which Lee returned.
Colby, Vineta. Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography. University of Virginia Press.
Cultural formation Vernon Lee
In her biography of Lee, Vineta Colby repeats longstanding judgments about the author's sexuality by emphasizing that she made no effort to conceal her attachments to women,
Colby, Vineta. Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography. University of Virginia Press.
but was hesitant about—even repelled by—sexual intimacy...
death Emmeline Pankhurst
A statue in her honour was unveiled in Victoria Tower Gardens on 6 March 1930; Dame Ethel Smyth conducted The March of the Women at the ceremony. A portrait done by Georgina Brackenbury hangs in...
Family and Intimate relationships Marghanita Laski
The political theorist Harold Laski was ML 's uncle. Laski, a professor at the London School of Economics, was the best-known socialist intellectual of his era. His books on the Second World War, the...
Family and Intimate relationships Emmeline Pankhurst
By 1913, EP had moved to live with composer Ethel Smyth at her cottage in Woking. The latter hints at a sexual relationship in her book Female Pipings in Eden and suggests that this...
Family and Intimate relationships Emmeline Pankhurst
She intended to spearhead a campaign to provide a better start in life for the illegitimate children of soldiers and reluctant mothers. (Ethel Smyth tried to dissuade her, took it philosophically when she was...
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Bussy
Dorothy's immediate family was large and vibrant: she had nine surviving siblings, most of whom distinguished themselves in the public realm. Her sister Philippa (Pippa) Strachey (1872-1968) was a longtime suffragist who organized the first...
Friends, Associates Vernon Lee
VL and Ethel Smyth began a lasting friendship when they were introduced at the Windsor home of Lady Mary Ponsonby .
Colby, Vineta. Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography. University of Virginia Press.
Friends, Associates Dorothy Wellesley
In Rome during the First World War, DW became a friend of two scholars, Geoffrey Scott , and Gerald Tyrwhitt, later Lord Berners .
Wellesley, Dorothy. Far Have I Travelled. James Barrie.
In the years after the war she formed her important...
Friends, Associates Rebecca West
RW was introduced by Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth , whom she had ardently looked forward to meeting; West and Smyth discussed Emmeline Pankhurst , about whom they had both been writing.
Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Editors Nicolson, Nigel and Joanne Trautmann, Hogarth Press.
5: 254, 259
Friends, Associates Constance Lytton
From two days after her stroke until September 1918 she had the joy of a perfect nurse,Nurse Oram .
Lytton, Constance. Letters of Constance Lytton. Editor Elizabeth Edith, Countess of Balfour, Heinemann.
That summer CL realised that we loved each other, and no mistake. From that...
Friends, Associates Edith Somerville
ES first met Ethel Smyth (and also Maurice Baring ), on the way to Lady Kenmare 's, Killarney House, County Kerry.
Collis, Maurice. Somerville and Ross: A Biography. Faber and Faber.
Friends, Associates Virginia Woolf
VW met and began a friendship with Ethel Smyth , a generation older than herself: composer, author, militant suffragist, former close friend and future biographer of Emmeline Pankhurst .
Bishop, Edward. A Virginia Woolf Chronology. Macmillan.
Friends, Associates Lady Ottoline Morrell
LOM continued to entertain in London, hosting such guests as Ethel Smyth , Elizabeth Bowen , Stephen Spender , Max Beerbohm , Hope Mirrlees , Djuna Barnes , Charlie Chaplin , the novelist Henry Green


17 June 1911: The Women's Coronation Procession was attended...

National or international item

17 June 1911

The Women's Coronation Procession was attended by 40,000 women from at least twenty-eight women's suffrage organisations, including both the Women's Social and Political Union and the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies .

11 November 1911: The Society of Women Musicians held its first...

Writing climate item

11 November 1911

The Society of Women Musicians held its first meeting at the headquarters of the Women's Institute in London.

Late October 2009: The BBC first opened to the public its sound...

Building item

Late October 2009

The BBC first opened to the public its sound archive entitled Suffragette Voices.


Smyth, Ethel. A Final Burning of Boats. Longmans, Green, 1928.
Smyth, Ethel. A Three-Legged Tour in Greece. Heinemann, 1927.
Smyth, Ethel. As Time Went On. Longmans, Green, 1936.
Smyth, Ethel. Female Pipings in Eden. Peter Davies, 1934.
Smyth, Ethel. Impressions that Remained. Longmans, Green, 1919.
Newman, Ernest, and Ethel Smyth. “Introduction”. Impressions that Remained, Alfred Knopf, 1946, p. v - xv.
Smyth, Ethel. “Introduction”. The Memoirs of Ethel Smyth, edited by Ronald Crichton, Penguin-Viking, 1987, pp. 7-14.
Smyth, Ethel. Streaks of Life. Longmans, Green, 1921.
Smyth, Ethel, and Margaret Morris. The March of the Women. Woman’s Press, 1911.
Smyth, Ethel, and Ronald Crichton. The Memoirs of Ethel Smyth. Viking, 1987.
Smyth, Ethel. What Happened Next. Longmans, Green, 1940.