Amelia Opie (1769-1853) was a novelist, poet, radical and philanthropist. She was associated with the Godwin Circle and was friends with William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Her political thought was influenced by the French Revolution. In 1798, she married the artist John Opie in London and continued to write. She is best known for her novel ‘Adeline Mowbray’ (1804). When John Opie died in 1807, she returned to her father’s house in Norwich and lived close by where the statue has been erected in Opie Street. This statue, which depicts her in Quaker dress, was carved in wood and then cast in artifical stone.
Location: Above shop façade, 6 Opie Street, Norwich, Norfolk.
Ouida, pseudonym of Maria Louise de la Ramée (1839— 1908). The child of a Parisian émigre and a wine merchant’s daughter, Ouida was a popular English sensation novelist, and writer of short stories, essays and children’s books. The gender-neutral pseudonymn, Ouida, with which she authored her writings, is thought to derive from her childish attempts to pronounce Louisa. An anti-vivisectionist, she was committed to animal rights and owned numerous dogs. She resided at the Langham Hotel, London from 1867, where enjoying popular success as a romantic novelist, she lived extravagantly, entertaining notable literary figures of the day. It was also the year her celebrated military novel, Under Two Flags, was published. Describing the British in Algeria and showing sympathy with the French colonists, this novel was made into a stage play and there were several film versions. In 1871, she moved to Italy where she wrote one of her best known children’s books, A Dog of Flanders (1872), which also became a film. She settled first in Florence in 1874 and then at Bagni di Lucca, finally dying in penury at Viareggio. This memorial, originally also a drinking fountain for dogs and horses, was erected through a public subscription organised by her friends and was erected in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, her birthplace. The inscription dedicating the memorial to Ouida was composed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston (1859—1925). For a fuller account of her life see The Victorian Web.
Location: Vinery Road at junction with Out Westgate, Horringer Road and Petticoat Lane, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2DF.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1921) was the leading political activist, who organized the UK suffragette movement. She set up the Women’s Social and Political Union, campaigning for women’s suffrage and was imprisoned many times for militant behaviour.
This bronze statue depicts Pankhurst standing on a household chair giving a speech with her arm outstretched pointing towards the Free Trade Hall, a significant building in suffragette history. Officially titled ‘Rise up Women!’ the statue has fast become known locally as ‘Our Emmeline’. It was the culmination of a five year campaign to erect a statue of a ‘woman of significance to Manchester’. Emmeline Pankhurst was the overwhelming choice of the public, winning 5,356 votes from people all over the world in an online survey. The Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign was then set up which brought the project to fruition. It was unveiled on 14 December 2018, the centenary of the Representation of the People Act which gave some women the right to vote in General Elections. This was the first statue of a woman to be erected in Manchester in 100 years, the only other being the earlier one of Queen Victoria.
In 2021 ‘Rise up Women!’ won the PSSA’s prestigious Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.
Location: St. Peter's Square, Manchester.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1921) was the political activist, who organized the UK suffragette movement. She set up the Women’s Social and Political Union, campaigning for women’s suffrage and was imprisoned many times for militant behaviour. Her statue in bronze stands on a Portland stone pedestal, the architectual setting also in Portland stone features bronze roundels, which commemorate her daughter Christabel (1880-1958) and which were added in 1959. The Emmeline Pankhurst memorial statue was unveiled on 6 March 1930. For full description and discussion see Philip Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster, vol. 1, LUP 2011, pp. 382-84.
Location: Close to the Abingdon Street Entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens, London SW1.
Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), the daughter of Emmeline, was also a suffragette. She trained as an artist at the Manchester School of Art. In 1900 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. She was a socialist and later a left Communist. Much of her later life was spent campaigning on behalf of Ethiopia, where she moved and died. This Corten steel statue in silhouette is one of a trio. Similar groups representing other characters are being erected in parks and open spaces as part of the Sustrans project. The people and animals represented in these sculptures are chosen by local communities to celebrate Sustrans winning a nationwide vote in 2007 to create new walking and cycling routes across the UK. The project is funded by the Big Lottery.
Location: Near Haverfield Road , Mile End Park, London E3.
Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison, ‘Sister Dora’
Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison (1832-1878) known as ‘Sister Dora’, was a compassionate Anglican nun and nurse with ideals of thrift and hard work. She arrived in Walsall in 1865 and developed a close tie with the local community. Her devotion to her patients became legendary. Always at hand in time of crisis, she nursed through a smallpox epidemic, horrific factory accidents and a pit disaster. She turned the local hospital into a national model of economic efficiency. When she died, thousands lined Bridge Street to pay their respects. She is renowned as the first woman, apart from members of the royal family, to be commemorated in a full-size statue. The original sculpture in Sicilian marble was unveiled in October 1886, but in 1956 money was raised by public subscription to replace the very weathered marble with a bronze cast, which stands on a polished Peterhead granite pedestal with bronze reliefs. A plaster cast of the statue, which formerly stood in the Council House foyer in Lichfield Street, was moved in 2010 and installed at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Location: The Bridge, Walsall, West Midlands.
Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) was a celebrated Russian prima ballerina and the principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet. Her signature role was The Dying Swan, which she performed thousands of times. Her statue on top of the cupola of the Victoria Palace Theatre was commissioned by the owner Sir Alfred Butt (1878-1962), possibly to the design of architect Frank Matcham (1854-1920). Pavlova appeared on stage there, when the theatre first opened in 1911. The original statue was taken down during WWII and lost. The present gilded bronze figure is a replica based on photographs of the original. It was erected in June 2006.
Location: Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London SW1.
Dolly Peel (1782-1857) was a South Shields fishwife and smuggler in the 1800s, who protected sailors from the press gangs. Her activities were discovered, but she was pardoned and given work nursing sick sailors. She became a local heroine and later published poetry. The statue was commissioned by her great-great-great grandson Reginald Peel and was based on a surviving photograph. Made of ciment fondu, the statue was unveiled in April 1987 by Councillor Gladys Hobson.
Location: River Drive near the junction with Palatine Street, facing the river Tyne, South Shields, Tyne and Wear.
Dame Mary Peters
Lady Mary Peters (b. 1945) was a pentathlete and shot putter, who represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games 1958-74, winning two gold medals for the pentathlon and a silver for the shot put. In 1972 she was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year, having won Britain’s only athletics gold medal at the Munich Olympics. Her bronze statue, erected at the athletics track which was created in her name, shows Peters giving her characteristic victory wave to the crowd. It was unveiled in June 2013.
Location: Mary Peters Track, Upper Malone Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Isabelle ‘Ella’ Pirrie DCS
Isabelle ‘Ella’ Pirrie DCS (1857-1929) having trained with Florence Nightingale, in 1883 Pirrie became the first nurse in the Belfast Union Workhouse (now Belfast City Hospital), where she established a nursing school. She later became matron of the Deaconess Hospital in Edinburgh (1894-1914), a training school for nurses. The bronze statue shows her holding a letter from Florence Nightingale dated 1 October 1885, which reads ‘…You have already done great things. You must be the nucleus of hope for a goodly future of trained nursing staff at Belfast Infirmary …’. The statue was erected in 2007.
Location: Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland.