Wishing a very happy publication day to Diane Atkinson, whose book, Rise Up Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes is published today by Bloomsbury.
Marking the centenary of female suffrage, this definitive history charts women's fight for the vote through the lives of those who took part, in a timely celebration of an extraordinary struggle
An Observer Pick of 2018
A New Statesman Book of 2018
Between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the First World War, while the patriarchs of the Liberal and Tory parties vied for supremacy in parliament, the campaign for women's suffrage was fought with great flair and imagination in the public arena.
Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, the suffragettes and their actions would come to define protest movements for generations to come. From their marches on Parliament and 10 Downing Street, to the selling of their paper, Votes for Women, through to the more militant activities of the Women's Social and Political Union, whose slogan 'Deeds Not Words!' resided over bombed pillar-boxes, acts of arson and the slashing of great works of art, the women who participated in the movement endured police brutality, assault, imprisonment and force-feeding, all in the relentless pursuit of one goal: the right to vote.
A hundred years on, Diane Atkinson celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to 'Rise Up'; a richly diverse group that spanned the divides of class and country, women of all ages who were determined to fight for what had been so long denied. Actresses to mill-workers, teachers to doctors, seamstresses to scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English; a wealth of women's lives are brought together for the first time, in this meticulously researched, vividly rendered and truly defining biography of a movement.
“A definitive history of the suffragettes … Atkinson exhorts her readers to salute the suffragettes. She is right to so do. It is easy to assume that women's suffrage was inevitable, but that should not detract from the efforts and losses undertaken by the pioneers so vividly described here” – Lucy Fisher, The Times
“A thrilling and inspiring read! For too long these extraordinary women have been hidden from history. Rise Up Women! should be a standard text in all schools. And will be a treasured handbook for today's feminists” – Harriet Harman MP,
“This is the untold story of the women's suffrage movement at last revealed in glorious 360 detail. Rise Up Women! is heartbreaking, inspiring and incredibly rewarding to read” – Dr Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana