Centenary Reading List

During this centenary year, there are lots of new books being published which tie in with the suffrage movement so we thought we’d put together a list of those we are aware of.  If we have missed any please let us know, especially if you are self-publishing or using small/local presses and we may not have seen them yet.  These are in no order so we can update easily!

Edit: We have now included a few previously published books too, let us know your favourites in the comments so we can provide lots of inspiration for people new to the subject.

Previously published books about suffrage, votes for women, campaigners/revolutionaries:

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand

Various titles by Elizabeth Crawford including Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary; The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide; Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle

Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes

Suffragettes: The Fight for Votes for Women Edited by Joyce Marlow

The Prison Diary of Annie Cobden-Sanderson edited by Marianne Tidcombe

Rebel Girls: Their Fight for the Vote by Jill Liddington

Recent, new and forthcoming:

Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades by Caitlin Davies – A history of a century of women, punishment and crime in HM Prison Holloway, where many suffragettes were imprisoned, including Edith New.


Women’s London by Rachel Kolsky –  Inspired by her walking tours this guide book to London profiles the impact women have had on its society, heritage and streetscape; from scientists and suffragettes, reformers and royals to authors and artists.  After leaving Swindon Edith lived in Lewisham throughout her teaching career.


Death in Ten Minutes. Kitty Marion: Activist. Arsonist. Suffragette by Fern Riddell – The never before told story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion. Historian Fern Riddell finds a hidden diary and uses Kitty’s own words to tell the story of her sensational life and explosive actions.  Kitty and Edith were both arrested in June 1908 at the same demonstration and sentenced to Holloway so there is every chance they knew each other, or at least met.


Deeds Not Words. The Story of Women’s Rights – Then and Now by Helen Pankhurst – On the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote, Helen Pankhurst – great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and a leading women’s rights campaigner – charts how women’s lives have changed over the last century, and offers a powerful and positive argument for the way forward.  Edith was an organiser for the WSPU, working closely alongside the Pankhursts.


Rise Up Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes by Diane Atkinson – 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.


Christabel Pankhurst: A Biography by June Purvis – Now in paperback.  Together with her mother, Emmeline, Christabel Pankhurst co-led the single-sex Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1903 and soon regarded as the most notorious of the groupings campaigning for the parliamentary vote for women.


Hearts And Minds. The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote by Jane Robinson – Set against the colourful background of the entire campaign for women to win the vote, Hearts and Minds tells the remarkable and inspiring story of the suffragists’ march on London.


The Stalled Revolution: Is Equality for Women an Impossible Dream? by Eva Tutchell and John Edmonds – 100 years ago women in the UK won the vote, this boook draws upon historical perspectives and contemporary interviews to convey what it felt like to be in the heart of the campaigns—the excitement, the solidarity, the suffering and the humour.   It also asks why the revolution has stalled and equality for women is still a distant dream.  Are women ready to draw inspiration from past successes and take a third leap forward towards equality?


Indian Suffragettes: Female Identities and Transnational Networks by Sumita Mukherjee – this book discusses the experiences of the Indian suffragettes who travelled around the world to lobby the British parliament, attend international women’s conferences, and conduct speaking tours to gather support for Indian women.

Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists by Elizabeth Crawford – covers the lives of over 100 artists, men and women (although mainly women), who worked to promote the suffrage cause.


The Remarkable Rhoda Garrett by Graeme Taylor – she was a cousin to both Millicent Fawcett and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and along with her cousin Agnes their interior design firm was the first business registered and run by women.  Rhoda was also to have two pieces dedicated to her by the composer’s Dame Ethel Smyth and Sir Hubert Parry.








Swindon Suffragette Festival

We are pleased to announce that in June 2018 we will be holding a series of events to celebrate and commemorate the contribution of Swindon Suffragette Edith New, to the campaign for Votes for Women.

Our first confirmed event will be our Women’s Art and Craft Sale on 10th June at Christ Church Community Centre, Swindon.  We first held this event in 2016 and had almost 20 talented women from Swindon selling art, cards, jewellery, upcycled furniture, knitted and crocheted goods, cupcakes, books and more.  We are now taking bookings for tables so if you would like any more information please email us.  Doors open 1.30pm and close at 4.30pm.

At 2pm on the same day you can join local historian Frances Bevan on a guided walk around the graveyard at Christ Church.  As well as visiting the graves of Edith New’s family Frances will share the stories of other fascinating Swindon women buried here.

Our second confirmed event will be a Guided Walk around Old Town on 12th June, starting outside Swindon Museum and Art Gallery at 7.30pm.  Join local historian Frances Bevan for a short guided walk following in the footsteps of Edith New.  See the house she was born in and site of a Swindon Heritage blue plaque; the school she attended; and where she came to recuperate on her release from Holloway.  Learn about how different her life in London was and get a flavour of her experiences as a suffragette.  Route: starts outside the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery; along Victoria Road to the corner of Union Row; along Prospect Place to North Street; up Eastcott Road and along to King William Street School; across Bath Road and along Avenue Road to finish on Lethbridge Road.  Total walking time approximately 20 minutes – please note that the Eastcott Road section is uphill and there are uneven surfaces on the route.

Hold the 24th June for more information about our EqualiTeas event with Eastcott Community Organisation at Savernake Street Social Hall.  We are planning a family friendly day of theatre, art and craft activities to celebrate Edith New’s contribution to the campaign for Votes for Women and to inspire you to take your own action on equality issues close to your heart.  This event is dependent on a pending external grant application.

Our final confirmed event is an illustrated talk ‘Worth the Whipping’ on 29th June at Savernake Street Social Hall at 7.30pm.  Join local historian Frances Bevan and Swindon Suffragette event organiser Leah Bevan-Haines for a talk about Edith New and her contribution to the campaign for Votes for Women.  Sharing photographs and newspaper articles they will give an overview of the suffrage campaign starting with the suffragists in the 1860s; through to the actions of the militant suffragettes which included Edith New, and beyond to the Equal Franchise Act in 1928.  This talk is suitable for secondary school age children at their responsible adult’s discretion.


Suffragette Diary from Clavis and Claustra: http://www.clavisandclaustra.co.uk/suffragette