Author(s): Diane Atkinson
Almost one hundred years ago, British women led a hard-fought campaign to gain the right to vote--and this is their story.
Britain's women's suffrage campaign began in the nineteenth century, but the twentieth century ushered in a more militant campaign. On June 30, 1908, two schoolteachers broke windows at 10 Downing Street to protest being turned away from Parliament, and when Parliament dissolved without passing the Conciliation Bill, the Women's Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U.) led the Black Friday riot on November 18, 1910. Two years later, Ellen Pitfield set fire to a waste basket at the General Post Office and was sentenced to six months for arson. By 1913, suffragettes were winning public sympathy by citing harrowing stories of imprisoned women on hunger strikes being drugged with bromide and force fed.
During the First World War women had done many of the jobs previously done by men, and their vital work was rewarded politically by the Representation of the People Act, giving the vote to all women twenty-one years or older. It was passed in the House of Lords on June 19, 1917, and became law on February 6, 1918. Perhaps the ultimate victory was a law passed on November 21, 1918, that allowed women to stand as Members of Parliament in the next general election.
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
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 Patiently, skilfully and empathetically, Diane Atkinson gives us the fullest, most insightful history yet of the suffragette movement and the courageous women who drove it forward to eventual fruition -- David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain Rise up and buy this book! Diane Atkinson has produced an instant classic of feminist history. All the spectacular drama and intrigue of the decade long militant campaign for the women's vote is staged in this immensely readable suffragette epic -- Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx A shocking and yet curiously exhilarating history of a group of women from all classes who simply refused to be crushed ... Atkinson makes us feel so proud of that fight -- Miranda Seymour, author of Noble Endeavours A brave book, written with verve and vivacity * The Times on The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton * Important and definitive, this beautifully written and extremely entertaining book resurrects a nineteenth-century heroine for the twenty-first century -- Amanda Foreman on The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton A pacy book that's as bright and fascinating as its heroine * Independent on The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton * As absorbing as it is thorough, as entertaining as it is warm-hearted. Terrific -- Joan Bakewell on Elsie and Mairi Go to War A compelling story of famous but forgotten heroines -- Kate Adie on Elsie and Mairi Go to War A terrific, true story, brought vividly to life * Mail on Sunday on Elsie and Mairi Go to War *
Diane Atkinson is the author of two illustrated history books, Suffragettes in Pictures and Funny Girls: Cartooning for Equality, and three biographies, Love & Dirt, Elsie and Mairi Go to War and The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton. A regular lecturer on the suffragettes at conferences and literary festivals, Diane Atkinson has also appeared on radio programmes including Woman's Hour, and has consulted on numerous television documentaries, as well as, most recently, the film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham-Carter. She lives in London.