BOOK REVIEW: Suffragette: The Battle for Equality

by David Roberts

Dedicated to the memory of all the suffragettes and suffragists who did right and persisted knowing Failure was Impossible.”

suffragettes coverThis year we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave some women over the age of 30 the right to vote for the very first time in the United Kingdom. In December, we mark 100 years since the first general election in which they voted.

In recognition of this historic event, David Roberts has produced a superbly illustrated children’s book that captures the courage and passion of the early 20th century suffragette movement.

Roberts’ distinctive drawings depicting the battle for female emancipation are imbued with compassion and good humour, showing the brave and resourceful women at both the nadir and pinnacle of their struggle. His narrative is at once uncomplicated, erudite and insightful, perfectly encapsulating the activists’ aspirations and frustrations as they fought for their enfranchisement with every means available to them.

He is particularly good at hats, which, of course, were essential headwear for ladies and gents during this period. In Roberts’ illustrations, the suffragettes wear their remarkable titfers like helmets and their heavy Edwardian attire as if armour, donning their official WSPU purple, green and white sashes with considerable pride.

His amusing stories of women outfoxing the police to sneak into Parliament in order to heckle, and the warmth with which he captures their facial expressions, often furrowed with audacity and determination, make reading Suffragette: The Battle for Equality an absolute pleasure. This book is an outstanding introduction to a significant era in our history.

Courage calls to courage everywhere, and its voice cannot be denied.”
Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing an advance review copy of this title.

Categories: Children's / YA Non-fiction

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8 replies

  1. This sounds absolutely wonderful. Fantastic review!

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. Reading this as an adult, I thought it was terrific – especially the illustrations. It’s always difficult to know what a child is going to make of a book, but I know I would have loved it from about the age of 7 or 8 upward!

  2. I wish this had been about when my female Offspring were young!

  3. What a wonderful idea. I hope the book does well. What those women were put through by society is amazing. They didn’t give up!


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