Suffrage 100Suffrage 100

In 2018 we celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which for the first time saw some women gain the vote, and was a key step towards female emancipation in the UK and universal suffrage across the globe. Throughout this year there are events taking place to mark this important anniversary and a great number of books published, both factual and fiction which will help our younger generation understand the huge achievement in this the Centenary year of the Suffrage movement. Find our favourite titles in this special section.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do
Sally Nicholls
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018 | February 2018 Book of the Month This inspirational novel about three young Suffragettes from very different backgrounds is at once a riveting character-driven read, and an outstandingly rich account of British social... Featured in: YA readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/02/2018
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Suffragette The Battle for Equality
David Roberts
Of all the books about the campaign for women's suffrage in this the centenary year of some women being given the vote, David Roberts's is the most beautiful to look at. In full page illustrations, vignettes and individual portraits, he... Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 29/05/2018
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Mollie On The March
Anna Carey
In a nutshell: vivid, lively and inspiring suffragette story Mollie Carberry is one of the liveliest characters you will read: a vivacious, intelligent young girl growing up in a comfortably-off family Dublin in 1912, and a suffragette. The book... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 23/02/2018
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My Story: Suffragette (centenary edition)
Carol Drinkwater
It's 1909. Dollie is swept up in the thrill of the campaign for Votes for Women. Against her guardian's wishes, she marches against Parliament with Emmeline Pankhurst and fellow suffragettes. Things turn violent, women are imprisoned and endanger their lives... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/02/2018
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Sally Morgan
1913. Mary and Christine have different views about Votes for Women , but that doesn't stop them from becoming penfriends. In their letters, the girls try to make sense of the suffragettes, from smashing windows to blowing up golf courses.... Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/03/2018
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Emmeline Pankhurst
Lisbeth Kaiser
The inspirational story of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the suffragette movement, is told vividly and succinctly in this illustrated. Emmeline was a girl who loved reading and dreamed about all the things she wanted to do. Only because Emmeline was... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 23/08/2017
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Girls for the Vote
Linda Newbery
Brings the past brilliantly to life and introduces inspirational women to today's girls. Historically strong, this is a dramatic story with a real sense of atmosphere which in turn sheds an impressively wide light on the social and economic picture of its time. Girls for... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/05/2018
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Amazing Women 101 Lives to Inspire You
Lucy Beevor
In a Nutshell: Trailblazers, campaigners, pioneers and creators A beautifully illustrated, empowering and inspiring collection of the extraordinary achievements of over 100 amazing and inspirational women of our time who have become trailblazers, campaigners, pioneers and creators including the likes of JK... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 08/02/2018
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Emmeline and the Plucky Pup
Megan Rix
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2018 Award- winning Megan Rix has a rare gift for putting dogs at the centre of important moments in history. Here, in a story set in 1910, Alfie and his... Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/01/2018
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The Making of Mollie
Anna Carey
In a nutshell: Suffragettes rule! A girl's eye view of early feminism | In Anna Carey's lively new novel, it's the portioning out of a roast chicken that sets Mollie thinking about women's rights (her brother always gets the best bits)!... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 17/10/2016
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Star by Star
Sheena Wilkinson
An invigorating tale of suffragettes and heroes, courage and survival, as war ends, flu sweeps the land - and women get to vote! Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 26/10/2017
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Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote
Sarah Ridley
This book tells the story of the campaign to get women the vote in Britain through significant objects. From photos of key people in the campaign through ephemera such as force-feeding equipment, banners and medallions, Sarah Ridley brings the story... Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 10/01/2019
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Three Cheers for Women!
Marcia Williams
Three Cheers for Women is a hugely inspirational book for children. It is full of facts, quotes and jokes brought together in a really fun way to ensure you remember them. You may even feel having read about some of these... Featured in: 7+ readers | 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/08/2018
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Fantastically Great Women Who Made History
Kate Pankhurst
It's impossible not to be inspired by this picture book and the great women featured in it: their stories are told across bright spreads, which are enticing to... Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 08/02/2018
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Opal Plumstead
Jacqueline Wilson
Best-selling Jacqueline Wilson's 100th book is a cracking story set just before the First World War with one of Wilson's feistiest girls yet at its heart. Opal Plumstead is a clever, bookish girl with a Scholarship place at a posh... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/06/2015
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Until We Win
Linda Newbery
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 13 | In a nutshell: inspiring story about women winning the vote | It's summer 1914 and Lizzy is enjoying a new freedom: she's saved the wages from her job as an office junior in an... Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/01/2017
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"Justice and freedom for women are things worth securing...for civilisation itself." - Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1928.

Prior to the Representation of the People Act 1918 women played no part in national politics; they could not stand as candidates in Parliament nor could they vote. From the late 19th century there was an growing campagin for women's suffrage, partly influenced by the success of similar campaigns overseas, and led by women who were increasingly frustrated by the social and economic constraints the suffered.
In 1897 a number of local suffrage societies united to form the National Union of Women's Suffrage Society under the leadership of Millicent Fawcett. Using peaceful tactics they petitioned the government and held non-violent demonstrations to draw support for their cause.

The more radical members grew impatient with this approach and in 1903 Emmmeline Pankhurst founded a new organisation, the Women's Social and Political Union - the Daily Mail dubbed them The Suffragettes. The motto of the Sufragettes was deeds not words and this new organisation became more militant and violent; they chained themselves to railings, caused extensive criminal damage and ran bombing campaigns.

By 1909 the WSPU had branches all over the country and published a newspaper called Votes for Women. Over this period about 1000 suffragettes were imprisoned for a variety of public order offences, some prisoners staging hunger strikes to lobby to be considered as political prisoners. Some of these prisoners were force-fed and kept in dreadful conditions. Their poor treatment won increasing sympathy from the public, which grew further as many of the WSPU and NUWSS suspended their campaigning at the outbreak of the First World War and eagerly took up many traditional male roles.
On 6th February the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed which gave the vote to all men and some women (who owned property) over the age of 30. By 1928 suffrage was extended to all women over the age of 21.

Throughout the year there are events taking place across the country; here are a small selection.

The Museum of London has a full programme of lectures, special events and an exhibition with personal stories from lesser known suffragettes, with iconic objects from the Museum collection including Emmeline's Pankhurst's hunger strike medal.

The Vote 100 Parliamentary project with a major exhibition at Westminster Hall covering the campaign and an exhibition on Women in Parliament at Portcullis House.

Suffrage 18 at LSE - a rich events programme including lectures, family activity days, exhibitions and more.

100 Banners - Partnering with museums, archives and arts organisations across Greater London, Digital Drama have created 100 Banners inspired by the suffrage banner collection to be part of various commemorations including the March4Women and the WOW Festival at the Southbank.

The Suffrage Pioneers, WLGS - Do you know a suffrage pioneer? This could be your grandmother, aunt, or other family member. If so you can find a nomination form here.

The Pankhurst Centre, Manchester - the birthplace of the Suffragette movement, with a small museum and women's community centre.

You might also be interested in the film Suffragette, staring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.

The Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial at Victoria Tower Gardens, near the Palace of Westminster.


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