Jessica Mann

Girls on Top

The Ascent of Woman: A History of the Suffragette Movement


Little, Brown 320pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

THIS YEAR IS the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union, when Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, together with Annie Kenney, turned women’s struggle for the vote from argument into action. But the suffrage movement and feminism have a much longer history, and Melanie Phillips’s lively and provocative account takes in all the landmarks on Britain’s road to universal suffrage: Mary Wollstonecraft’s original treatise; the long, slow introduction of liberating legislation; the constitutional ‘votes for women’ campaign led by the ladylike Millicent Fawcett and her heroic husband Henry; and the militant movement’s marches, petitions, hunger strikes, forced feeding, and martyrdom for the cause.

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