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Suffragettes

Indian suffrage campaigners on the Women’s Coronation Procession, London, 1911.

Britain was neither the first country, nor the last, to give women the vote. It was one part of a global movement.

The national campaign for suffrage saw women forming societies from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Detail from the song sheet of Ethyl Smyth’s The March of the Women, by Margaret Morris (1911).

Four new studies challenge familiar tropes to consider some important but lesser-known areas of the women’s suffrage movement. 

Equal rewards: returning soldiers are welcomed at a railway station, 1917.

Why did only some women get the vote in 1918 and what did they do with it?

Ethel Smyth took on the forces of inequality, in both politics and culture, producing highly acclaimed works of music that are now all but forgotten.

Christabel (left) and Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903.

The Women’s Social and Political Union played a crucial role in the campaign to gain the vote for women. 

Not to be ignored: Kitty Marion, Criminal Record Office, c.1913.

Why is it so easy to forget an unsavoury aspect of Britain’s recent past?

Winning the vote for women brought new energy to campaigns for social and political equality. Joanne Smith looks at the remarkable flowering of women’s associations in Britain during the 20th century.

Sojourner Truth, c.1864.

As calls for women’s suffrage gained momentum following the American Civil War, an uncomfortable racial fault-line began to emerge within the movement, argues Jad Adams.

Fern Riddell investigates the campaign of terror orchestrated by the Edwardian suffragette movement before the First World War and asks why it has been neglected by historians.