by Verna Coleman
As the youngest daughter of the famous British suffragette family, Adela Pankhurst s life began as it would continue- among thinkers and activists. She was arrested for her part in the fight for female suffrage in the United Kingdom but, after differences with her mother she was sent to Australia. Arriving in Melbourne in 1914, Adela quickly became involved with the women's movement and the anti-war and anti-conscription movements. Wayward and passionate, she zigzagged from cause to cause. Adela was a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia, but later became involved with the extreme right-wing Australia First movement. During her fast-paced life she managed to offend socialists, communists, trade unionists, patriots, pacifists, feminists, nationalists, imperialists and conservatives. Verna Coleman vividly brings this extraordinary woman to life. Feisty and inspirational, Adela Pankhurst brought a whole-hearted commitment to her various campaigns, and to read her biography is to be caught up in the heady excitement of some of the most significant political causes of the twentieth century.