"For God's sake, women, go out and play…Instead of staring round to see what wants polishing or rubbing, go out into the open and draw the breath of the moors or the hills into your lungs.
"Get some of the starshine and sunlight into your souls, and do not forget that you are something more than a dish washer - that you are more necessary to the human race than politicians - or anything."
This extract is from an article Our Right To Play, written by novelist, poet and journalist Ethel Carnie in 1909. Four years later her book, Miss Nobody, came out – believed to be the first novel ever published in Britain by a working class woman.
Miss Nobody centres on women machinists joining a trade union and going on strike in a Lancashire mill for the grand sum of ninepence, as they "fight, like Englishwomen" for their rights.
Carnie, who worked on and off in a mill, wrote a further nine novels, plus lots of articles and poems, many examining the tension between love, work and poverty… "Girlhood glides into womanhood, and one falls in love. (Which shows the innate cheek of the working-class, who dare to dream of happiness living from hand to mouth)"
It's now 100 years since Miss Nobody appeared, in September 1913, and there's a special event to commemorate the writer this Saturday at the Working Class Movement Library. It will feature readings, talks, song and a display of materials relating to Ethel Carnie's life, plus the launch of a new centenary edition of Miss Nobody.
Although Ethel Carnie was brought up and lived in Great Harwood near Blackburn she spent the last thirty years of her life in Cheetham Hill.
Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1896-1962) and working-class women's writing:
A centenary celebration
Saturday 7th September
Working Class Movement Library
51, The Crescent
No tickets needed just turn up
Further details see: http://www.wcml.org.uk/
And Facebook event: click here
For further details on the life of Ethel Carnie – click here
The Full Programme for the Afternoon…
Welcome and introduction by Nicola Wilson (University of Reading)
Nicola is general editor of a new series of the works of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, published by Kennedy & Boyd
Belinda Webb on Miss Nobody, 1913-2013
Belinda has written the introduction to the new edition of Miss Nobody
Readings from Miss Nobody by actress Keely Forsyth
Tea and refreshments.
Opportunity to view the WCML's archive materials and library display on Ethel Carnie Holdsworth
Keynote lecture on 'Ethel Carnie Holdsworth and working-class women's writing' by Kathleen Bell (De Montfort University)
Q&A / discussion
Nicola Wilson on '1913 as a centenary year'
A performance by Rosie Middleton of the Royal Northern College of Music of Ethel Carnie's 'Possession' and 'On the Road', which were dedicated to Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst respectively as part of Dame Ethel Smyth's 'Three Songs' (1913) and first performed by the London Symphony Orchestra in 1913