The best suffragette books 📚

Browse the best books on suffragettes as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Suffragettes in the Purple, White and Green: London 1906-1914

Suffragettes in the Purple, White and Green: London 1906-1914

By Diane Atkinson

Why this book?

Purple, white, and green are the colours of the WSPU regalia. Suffragette ephemera fascinates me, especially their merchandising (soap, chocolate, board games, chinaware - all sorts of things). I first heard of it at a presentation by Diane Atkinson. This book is the catalogue of an exhibition she put together when she was a curator at the Museum of London. An excellent resource, it's full of images with pointers for where to find more. Ephemera is great for giving a sense of period, so I asked the artists on the graphic novel to cram in all they could.
From the list:

The best books on the lives of suffragettes

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Book cover of Suffragette Sally

Suffragette Sally

By Gertrude Colmore

Why this book?

This amazing account of the Edwardian struggle for women's suffrage was published in 1911, in the thick of it. While doing research for Sally Heathcote Suffragette, I discovered a review of it in Votes for Women, the official paper of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). It weaves the stories of three fictional women into what were then very recent events in suffrage history, bringing them to life. The Sally in the title, like my Sally, is a maid-of-all-work A coincidence? Yes, but not really surprising. Domestic service was the most likely form of employment for a…
From the list:

The best books on the lives of suffragettes

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Book cover of A View Most Glorious

A View Most Glorious

By Regina Scott

Why this book?

The first time I saw Mount Rainier, I joked with my husband that we ought to find a way to live within sight of it. That didn’t happen, but the memory of its beauty didn’t fade, and so when I was given an opportunity to read an advance copy of Regina Scott’s latest American Wonders book featuring a heroine who attempts to climb Mount Rainier, I said, “yes, please!” What a great book! The combination of multi-faceted characters, a careful blending of fact and fiction, and fascinating descriptions of mountain climbing in the early twentieth century kept me turning pages…

From the list:

The best books to make you forget you’re living in the 21st century

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Book cover of A Suffragette  My Own Story

A Suffragette My Own Story

By Emmeline Pankhurst

Why this book?

This book is very important to me. It gave me more understanding of the Suffragette movement in the UK and how women sacrificed their lives for equal rights and fairness. I really appreciate those women activists. Because of them, women now have better treatment and opportunities in society, although we still have a long way to go to have more women in politics and at the decision-making level. 

From the list:

The best books about the Karen and human rights that inspire me

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Book cover of Falling Angels

Falling Angels

By Tracy Chevalier

Why this book?

For modern fiction dealing with Edwardian women's suffrage, I recommend Chevalier's moving account of two girls growing up as the new century begins. It's a beautiful, atmospheric handling of the turbulent period of social change. The Victorian idealisation of the 'Angel of the House' falls from grace and the outcome is heartbreaking.

From the list:

The best books on the lives of suffragettes

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Book cover of The Life and Death of Emily Wilding Davison

The Life and Death of Emily Wilding Davison

By Ann Morley, Liz Stanley

Why this book?

That suffragette who 'threw herself' under the King's horse. Supposedly. Emily Wilding Davison was trampled on the Derby Day racecourse at Epsom on June 4th, 1913. Two WSPU flags were found pinned inside her coat. She died on July 8th, without having regained consciousness. When she was carried off the racecourse, she also had her pockets full. She had the return part of a rail ticket, notepaper, envelopes, and stamps, a race card marked with her fancies up to the fateful 3 pm race, and her helper’s pass card for the WSPU Summer Festival in Kensington, valid for 2.30 to…
From the list:

The best books on the lives of suffragettes

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