Ten of the Best Suffragette Stories

Nikki Gamble chooses. ‘We’re not daughters and wives, we’re humans with lives.’


This year marks the centenary of two landmarks in the women’s movement: women’s suffrage in the UK (householders over 30) and the Parliament Act (Qualification of women) allowing women to stand for election. 2018 is time to celebrate a century of struggle and achievement across the globe, as women have fought for and won not only for the right to vote, but also the right to have a say in the running of their own and their country’s affairs. This book list showcases 10 recently published books, which either

highlight the

achievements of suffragists or are written in the spirit of the pioneering women who strove for recognition and equality.

Rebel Voices

Eve Lloyd Knight and Louise Kay, Wren & Rook, 978-1-5263-0023-2, £12.99 hbk

Although the story of Emeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement is well-known,


campaign started beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. Rebel Voices charts the history of Votes for Women across the world from the trailblazers in New Zealand (1893) to most recent victories in the Middle East. The striking graphic style


make this a book to inform and delight. It is packed with fascinating

insights, revealing for instance that New Zealand was unusual in granting equal rights to settlers and indigenous people; in other countries the struggle for native populations has often been more protracted.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Sally Nicholls, Andersen Press, 978-1783445257, £12.99 hbk The

Suffrage Movement in

Britain is the subject of Sally Nicholls’

compelling novel,

Things a Bright Girl Can Do. Taking inspiration from novels of the day, this is an epic story which is both enlightening and engrossing.

three young women from very different


The story follows as


join the ‘Votes for Women’ fight, find friendship and discover love. Nicholls writes with a respect for history and this novel is packed with

authentic details,

but the history doesn’t impede the storytelling. An absolute must

read. Ideal for readers 14+. 12 Books for Keeps No.228 January 2018 The Cure for Dreaming

Cat Winters, Amulet Books, 978-1419712166, £10.99 hbk

Another YA read, this time set in Oregon in 1900, The Cure for Dreaming is Cat Winters’ enigmatic,

Headstrong book loving Olivia Mead is a suffragist who dreams of going to college, Convinced that his daughter is on a path to destruction, Cat’s father engages a hypnotist to cure her of what he perceives to be unladylike behaviour. The results of the hypnosis are shocking, Cat is left with an ability to read the

inner thoughts of everyone she meets but she is also cursed with the loss of speech. Eventually, she wins the support of hypnotist, Henri Reverie, reverses her hypnotic state, gains her freedom and finds her voice. A disquieting read in which Cat’s induced trance state is a metaphor for her political and social oppression.

The Princess and the Suffragette

Holly Webb, Scholastic, 978-1-4071-7085-5, £9.99 hbk

Holly Webb’s The Princess and the Suffragette is a delightful fiction choice for readers from about 9+. A sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, this story is set in Miss Minchin’s school for young ladies. Lottie, aged 10 a minor character for the original book has transformed from a simpering child to

an altogether more assertive

and fiery girl. She develops a close relationship with one of the serving maids and inspired by the actions of

Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison the friends are drawn into exploits of the suffrage movement.

paranormal story.

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