Clara Clarkson is Number 13 in our quest for #BluePlaqueParity.
We unveiled Clara’s plaque at an end-of-project celebration held at Wetsgate Chapel in 2019.
We createdClara as a TV drama about an interesting figure who lived in 1850s Wakefield. Clara Clarkson was a suffragist, an abolitionist and a lover and protector of women in the Merrie City.
Clara struggles to balance her relationship with companion Harriet and what is expected from her in Victorian society, dodging the charms of doting widower Henry and the vehement disapproval of her mother Sarah.
Clara and her friends defied social convention, living openly as part of a nurturing Queer community localised around the Wakefield Unitarian Chapel.
Wakefield’s ‘great and good’, fearing scandal if secrets came to light, petitioned to have Clara’s journals destroyed. Out of a total of 40 only 4 survived, which were de-coded and re written in the book ‘Merrie Wakefield’ by Ann Jacques, a distant relative. Now, 130 years after Clara’s death, her voice endures and her story will be told.
The pilot of Clara premiered at a live screening on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2020 at the Mechanics’ Theatre in Wakefield.
The Life & History of Clara Clarkson
Learn about Clara’s life from our broadsheets based on intensive research by the Forgotten Women of Wakefield’s head researcher Helga Fox and research team.