Enola Holmes 2 True Story Explained
Sarah Chapman was one of the people who planned the Match Girls Strike in 1888. The character of Sarah in Enola Holmes 2 was based on her.
The Matchgirls’ Strike in Enola Holmes 2 is based on a real event in history, but Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister was not there.
Enola Holmes 2 is a brilliant mix of the series’ usual wit and creativity with the history of the Match Girls’ Strike and Sarah Chapman. The social unrest in London’s streets is explored by making up a story about a time in history that is usually forgotten.
It also reminds us that we are stronger as a group in a world where many people still work together to fight for their rights, whether through unions or protests.
If you haven’t seen the sequel yet, be aware that there will be spoilers.
Who is Sarah Chapman in Enola Holmes 2? It’s about the history of the Matchstick Girls
Sarah Chapman was a real person who lived during the time of the Matchgirls’ Strike.
In reality, the matchgirls’ strike was about a lot more than being poisoned by phosphorous. It was also about how hard and bad their jobs were.
In Enola Holmes 2, Sarah Chapman, a dancer and matchstick maker, is missing. Her sister, Bessie, is worried about her and has asked Enola to help find her. Just as poor Enola is about to leave her detective agency, Bessie comes in with a request.
She finds out in the end that Chapman found evidence that the health risks of using phosphorus in matchmaking were being hidden. Chapman was hidden from her old bosses while she looked for a way to get in touch with Lord Tewkesbury, who was known as a great reformer. She wanted to tell the world the truth.
As the movie goes on, Sarah turns out to be the detective, the master of disguises, and the one who collects evidence. Her goal is to find out why dangerous and often deadly working conditions at her factory are being hidden.
Sarah gathers a lot of different information to back up her claims and get justice for the girls who have died. If Enola wanted to work with another girl to solve a mystery, Sarah would be a great choice.
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Sarah Chapman’s Real Life
Sarah Chapman was born on October 31, 1862. She was the fifth of Samuel, who worked for a brewer, and Sarah Ann Mackenzie’s seven children. Chapman grew up in Mile End and lived the rest of her life in the East End of London.
Sarah was a matchmaker at Bryant & May with her mother and older sister when she was 19 years old. By the time of the 1888 strike, Chapman had worked at the Bryant & May plant for a long time and had a job that paid about the same.
In December 1891, Sarah got married to Charles Henry Dearman, who made furniture. Sarah Elsie was born in 1892. She was the first of the couple’s six children. Later, Sarah’s family moved to Bethnal Green, which is where she lived for the rest of her life. The death of Charles Henry Dearman took place in 1922.
Matchstick Girls and the Poisoning of Phosphorus
Women and girls would grab finished matchsticks with their bare hands and put them in boxes, as we saw in Enola Holmes 2’s assembly scene.
Being around chemicals led to a number of unpleasant side effects and illnesses that were specific to this type of work. In the movie, Enola pretends to be a factory worker and finds out that the deadly disease typhus can be tested for with a mouth swab.
One 16-year-old was paid just four shillings per week by Bryant & May, a cartel that had established itself in that part of London, just enough for her to buy bread to eat after paying her rent. The biggest risk was a disease called “phossy jaw,” which is a type of bone cancer caused by being around too much phosphorus.
After being exposed to white phosphorus, people with phossy jaw got flu-like symptoms and pain in their mouths and teeth. These symptoms of typhus fever, which could be fatal, are not unusual. Lord McIntyre and his group used typhus as an excuse to cover up the deaths of girls at work.
Sadly, factories like Bryant & May didn’t care about these important health problems. Workers said that you would lose your job if you didn’t fix the problem on your own (by pulling teeth, etc.).
Another common complaint was that foremen had their pay taken away for small things like talking, dropping matches, or having a “dirty” workspace. In 1888, women could no longer handle the health risks, the strict work environments, and the fourteen-hour work days.
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Real-Life Event Of Match Girl Strike
In 1888, there was a strike at the Bryant & May match factory, but the rest of the story is made up, including the corruption and murders. It happened because a worker was fired without just cause, which led to bad working conditions like low pay and big fines.
Near the end of Enola Holmes 2, a made-up scene shows this moment of victory. Bessie, Enola, and Sarah Chapman tell the girls to stand up for themselves and leave.
Annie Besant, a freethinker and activist, later talked to workers outside the factory to find out more. On June 23, she published an article in The Link called “White Slavery in London.” Bryant & May tried to get employees to sign statements disputing the charges, but they wouldn’t. On July 5, 1888, about 1,400 women and girls went on strike.
The next day, 200 women went to Bouverie Street to ask for help from Annie Besant. Chapman was one of the three women who went to see Besant to ask for her help setting up a special committee.
The women set up open forums, got good coverage in the news, and won over a number of MPs. After Chapman and the strike committee met with Bryant & May’s management, Toynbee Hall and the London Trades Council agreed with the list of demands made by Chapman and the strike committee.
After this, the women got together and made a group called the Union of Women Match Makers. Their first meeting was on July 27 at Stepney Meeting Hall. Twelve women were chosen for the committee, and Sarah Chapman was one of them.
It was the biggest group of women in the country. Chapman went to the 1888 International Trades Union Congress in London after being chosen as the Union’s first delegate to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The UK lost a lot when Sarah Chapman died
Sarah Chapman died in Bethnal Green Hospital on November 27, 1945. She was 83 years old. Three of her six kids lived on after she died. Sarah was buried in the Manor Park Cemetery with five other elderly people in a grave that was not marked.
Since 2019, The Matchgirls Memorial has been trying to help people learn more about the Matchgirls’ Strike and the people who took part in it. Donations paid for a headstone for Sarah Chapman’s grave, and the group wants to make a statue to honor the strikers and organizers.
In response to the Manor Park Cemetery’s plan to cover Sarah Chapman’s grave with a mound, a petition was started in 2020 to protect the grave. In July of that year, a motion was sent to Parliament expressing concern about the plan to destroy Sarah Chapman’s burial place.
In 2021, it was announced that Sarah Chapman would be honored with a brand-new apartment building in Bow. English Heritage said that in 2022, a blue plaque will be put at the old Bryant & May factory in Bow, London, to honor the Matchgirls’ Strike.
Is Enola Holmes 2 based on true events?
Part of Enola Holmes 2 is based on Sarah Chapman’s real life.
Where can I watch the second Enola Holmes?
Netflix has Enola Holmes 2, which you can watch.
In September 2020, Millie Bobby Brown, who co-produced and starred in Enola Holmes, and Harry Bradbeer, who directed the movie, said they wanted to make a sequel. The story is not based on any of the books, but on the real-life strike of matchmakers in 1888 and the life of labor activist Sarah Chapman. Bradbeer thought it was an inspiring feminist symbol, and it showed the idea of working together — “To move forward, Enola needs to work with other people and not just rely on herself. It’s a story that goes from “I” to “we,” and that’s a story of sisterhood.”
In April 2021, it was confirmed that a sequel was being made. Brown and Cavill would play Enola Holmes and Sherlock Holmes again. Sam Claflin couldn’t come back as Mycroft Holmes because of scheduling issues, which made Bradbeer and the rest of the crew sad. However, Mycroft’s absence let them focus more on Sherlock. In May 2021, Netflix made it official that the project would happen. It is said that Brown was paid $10 million for her part.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 92% of 64 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The consensus on the website says, “Enola Holmes 2 builds on its predecessor with boisterously entertaining flair. It solves the mystery of how to make a satisfying sequel and makes it look so easy.” Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, gave the movie a score of 62 out of 100 based on the opinions of 18 critics. This means that the reviews were “generally positive.”
Beandrea July of The New York Times said, “This YA feminist story is a welcome addition to the Sherlock Holmes universe, and one can’t help but cheer for it.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarkye said that it was “a good sequel.” Gyarkye likes how well the production and costumes are done, but he doesn’t like how the story is told. “The 1888 match girl strike, which was a way to build community and focus on “we,” gets repackaged as a lesson in how one voice can lead the masses,” he says.
Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave it 3 out of 5 stars and wrote, “An equally boisterous romp that’s equally hard to remember once it’s over, but one that should keep its many fans interested enough to warrant more sequels.” The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin gave it 2 out of 5. He thought the movie was less charming than the one before it, and he didn’t like “the overall aura of cheapness” or the dull scenes or the simple fight scenes.
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