Two core texts are available for students: Paula Bartley Votes for women, 1860-1928, Hodder & Stoughton, 2nd ed., 2003 and Harold L. Smith The British women’s suffrage campaign, 1866-1928, Longman, 1998, 2nd ed., 2007. Both provide an excellent, readable and relatively short discussion of the major issues. Bartley is perhaps the easier starting point but Smith contains a good collection of primary material. Elizabeth Crawford The Women’s Suffrage Movement, Routledge, 2000 is an important reference guide covering 1866-1928.
Martin Pugh Votes for women in Britain 1867-1928, The Historical Association, 1994 is a very brief introduction to the subject. Sophia A. van Wingerden The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain 1866-1928, Macmillan, 1999 looks at the major events, themes and problems of the suffrage movement from its inception to ultimate victory in 1928. Martin Pugh The March of the Women: a revisionist analysis of the campaign for women’s suffrage, 1866-1914, Oxford University Press, 2000 provides the most accessible and recent introduction to the major problems of interpretation. Melanie Phillips The Ascent of Woman, Little Brown, 2003 is a sound if polemical populist study. Constance Rover Women’s suffrage and party politics in Britain 1866-1914, Routledge, 1967 is, despite its age still worth reading. David Morgan Suffragists and Liberals, Oxford University Press, 1975 remains important on the relationship between political parties and women suffragists.
The suffrage question before 1897
June Purvis (ed.) Women’s History: Britain 1850-1945, UCL, 1995 is an excellent collection of articles many of which are relevant to this unit. Jane Lewis Women in England 1870-1950: Sexual Divisions and Social Change, Harvester, 1984 and Kathryn Gleadle British Women in the Nineteenth Century, Palgrave, 2001 are good introductions to the economic position of women in this period. Philippa Levine Victorian Feminism 1850-1900, Hutchinson, 1987 looks at feminist protest before the Suffragettes. Barbara Caine English Feminism 1780-1980, OUP, 1997 and Susan Kingsley Kent Gender and Power in Britain 1640-1990, Routledge, 1999 take a longer perspective. Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska Women in Twentieth-Century Britain, Longman, 2001 is excellent on twentieth century developments.
A.V. John (ed.) Unequal Opportunities: Women’s Employment in England 1800-1950, Blackwell, 1986, Jane Rendall (ed.) Equal or Different: Women’s Politics 1800-1914, Blackwell, 1987 and Angela V. John (ed.) Our Mothers’ Land: Chapters in Welsh Women’s History 1830-1939, University of Wales Press, 1991 are outstanding collections of papers including a seminal article on Welsh suffragism. M. Joannou and J. Purvis. (eds) The women’s suffrage movement: new feminist perspectives, Manchester University Press, 1998 is more specific. Claire Eustance, Joan Ryan and Laura Ugolini (ed.) Theme and directions in British suffrage history: a reader, Cassell Academic, 1999 and June Purvis and Sandra Stanley Holton Votes for Women, Routledge, 2000 are extremely valuable collections of articles.
Women’s participation in public life is explored in Patricia Hollis Ladies Elect: Women in English Local Government 1865-1914, OUP, 1987 and Patricia Hollis (ed.) Women in Public: The Women’s Movement 1850-1900, Allen & Unwin, 1979. David Rubinstein Before the suffragettes: women’s emancipation in the 1890s, Harvester, 1986 considers the changing face of feminism in the 1890s. Barbara Caine Feminism, suffrage and the nineteenth-century English women’s movement, Women’s Studies International Forum, vol.5, no.6, 1982 remains useful if somewhat dated. Susan Kingsley Kent Sex and suffrage in Britain 1860-1914, Princeton, 1987 is the best introduction to the ‘sex question’. Jane Lewis (ed.) Before the vote was won: arguments for and against women’s suffrage 1864-1896, Routledge, 1987 is an excellent collection of documents with incisive introduction.
Leslie Parker Hume The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies 1897-1914, New York: Garland, 1982 provides the best introduction to what was a neglected topic. It should be read in conjunction with the revisionist biography by David Rubinstein A different world for women: the life of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Harvester, 1991 and Sandra Stanley Holton Feminism and democracy: women’s suffrage and reform politics in Britain 1900-1918, Cambridge University Press, 1986. Jill Liddington and Jill Norris One hand tied behind us, Virago, 1978, 2nd ed., 2000, the seminal study of radical suffragists. Les Garner Stepping stones to women’s liberty: feminist ideas in the women’s suffrage movement, Heinemann, 1984. Richard Symonds Inside the Citadel: Men and the Emancipation of Women 1850-1920, Macmillan, 1999 is a valuable study of a neglected topic, the support men gave to women’s suffrage.
Important biographical studies of women who took a broadly constitutionalist stance include: Ray Strachey Millicent Garrett Fawcett, John Murray, 1931, Helena Swanwick I have been young, Gollancz, 1935, Jo Vellacott From Liberal to Labour with women’s suffrage: the story of Catherine Marshall, McGill, 1993, Jill Liddington Life and times of a respectable rebel, Virago, 1984, Hannah Mitchell, The hard way up. ed. Geoffrey Mitchell, Virago, 1977, Liz Whitelaw The life and rebellious times of Cicely Hamilton, Women’s Press, 1990, Margaret Mulvihil Charlotte Despard: a biography, Pandora, 1989, and Andro Linklater, Charlotte Despard: An unhusbanded life, Hutchinson, 1980. Sandra Stanley Holton Suffrage days, Routledge, 1996 focuses on the activities of seven women, whose participation in the suffrage movement is less well known and is especially useful for Hannah Mitchell. Carol McPhee and Ann Fitzgerald (eds.) Teresa Billington-Greig The non-violent militant: selected writings of Teresa Billington-Greig, Routledge, 1987 is a valuable collection of her writings.
The best introduction to the Suffragettes is Andrew Rosen, Rise up, Women!, Routledge, 1974 which expanded and improved on Roger Fulford Votes for Women, Faber 1957, although Fulford is still the most readable study. Laura E. Nym Mayhall The Militant Suffrage Movement: Citizenship and Resistance in Britain, 1860-1930, Oxford University Press, 2003 is an important revisionist study. It considers the image of upper-class women chaining themselves to the rails of 10 Downing Street, smashing windows of public buildings, and going on hunger strikes in the cause of ‘votes for women’ have become visually synonymous with the British suffragette movement over the past century. Their story has become lore among feminists, in effect separating women's fight for voting rights from contemporary issues in British political history and disconnecting their militancy from other forms of political militancy in Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Mayhall examines the strategies that suffragettes employed to challenge the definitions of citizenship in Britain. She examines the resistance origins within liberal political tradition, its emergence during Britain's involvement in the South African War, and its enactment as spectacle. Enlarging the study of the militant campaign for suffrage, she analyses not only its implications for the social history of gender but also, and more importantly, its connections to British political and intellectual history. Antonia Raeburn The militant suffragettes, Michael Joseph, 1973 and The suffragette view, David & Charles, 1976 and Midge Mackenzie (ed.) Shoulder to shoulder, Penguin, 1975 are valuable, shorter studies. Diane Atkinson The purple, white and green: suffragettes in London, 1906-14, Museum of London, 1992 and Cheryl R. Jorgensen-Earp “The transfiguring sword”: the just war of the Women’s Social and Political Union, University of Alabama Press, 1997 are more recent. Rosamund Billington Ideology and feminism: why the suffragettes were “wild women”, Women’s Studies International Forum v.5, no. 6, 1982 is an interesting article. Lisa Tickner The spectacle of women: imagery of the suffrage campaign 1907-14, Penguin, 1988 is excellent on the visual dimension to the movement. Diane Atkinson The Suffragettes in pictures, Sutton, 1997 is a useful collection of photographs, sources and posters. Joyce Marlow (ed.) Votes for Women: The Virago Book of Suffragettes, Virago, 2000 is a useful and accessible collection of primary sources.
Much of the work on the Pankhursts is to be found in their own writings or in biographical works. Martin Pugh The Pankhursts, Allen Lane, 2001 should now be regarded as the standard work. Although Emmeline and Sylvia have been subject to recent biographies, there are still no modern biographies of Christabel other than the extremely critical works by David Mitchell The fighting Pankhursts, Cape, 1967 and Queen Christabel, MacDonald and Jane’s, 1977. Timothy Larsen Christabel Pankhurst: Fundamentalism and Feminism in Coalition, Boydell Press, 2002 considers her role after 1918 when she turned her energies to Christian fundamentalism and carved out a new career as a writer of best-selling evangelical books and as a high-profile speaker on the fundamentalist preaching circuit, particularly in the United States. Primary material can be found in the autobiographies: Christabel Pankhurst Unshackled: the Story of How We Won the Vote, Hutchinson, 1959 and Emmeline Pankhurst My own story, 1914, Virago, 1978. June Purvis Emmeline Pankhurst, UCL, 2002 and Paula Bartley Emmeline Pankhurst, Routledge, 2002 are the best biographies. Elizabeth Sarah ‘Christabel Pankhurst: reclaiming her power’ in Dale Spender (ed.) Feminist theorists, Women’s Press, 1983 is more recent and short.
Sylvia Pankhurst has been better served. Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, The suffragette movement, 1930, Virago, 1977 and Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, A Sylvia Pankhurst reader, edited by Kathryn Dodd, Manchester UP, 1993 provide valuable primary material. There are four modern biographies: the first, by her son, Richard Keir Pethick Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst: artist and crusader. Paddington Press, 1979, Patricia Romero Sylvia Pankhurst: portrait of a radical, Yale, 1987, Barbara Winslow Sylvia Pankhurst: sexual politics and political activism, UCL Press, 1996 and Shirley Harrison Sylvia Pankhurst: A Crusading Life 1882-1960, Aurum Press, 2003. Fran Abrams Freedom’s Cause: The Lives of the Suffragettes, Profile Books, 2003 is the story of the movement told through the lives of twelve of its leaders. Ann Morley with Liz Stanley The life and death of Emily Wilding Davison, Women’s Press, 1988 deals with the most tragic event of the Suffragette movement. Jane Marcus (ed.) Suffrage and the Pankhursts, Routledge, 1987 is a good collection of primary sources.
Brian Harrison Separate spheres: the Opposition to Women’s Suffrage in Britain, Croom Helm, 1978 is the only serious study of those who opposed calls for women’s suffrage. John Sutherland Mrs Humphrey Ward, OUP, 1991 considers the life of a feminist and prominent novelist who played a leading role in the campaign against women getting the vote.
Leah Leneman A guid cause: the women’s suffrage movement in Scotland, Aberdeen University Press, 1991, 2nd ed., 1998 is the leading text on Scotland. Cliona Murphy The Women’s Suffrage Movement and Irish Society in the Early Twentieth Century, Temple University Press, 1989 is a good introduction to the movement in Ireland. Louise Ryan Irish feminism and the vote: an anthology of the Irish citizen newspaper 1912-1920, Folens, 1996 is the best collection of sources.
Arthur Marwick Women at war, Fontana, 1977 is both well written and well illustrated. Gail Braybon Women workers in the First World War, Routledge, 2nd ed., 1989 and Deborah Thom Nice Girls and Rude Girls: Women Workers in World War I, Tauris, 1998 look in greater detail at industrial workers. Carol Twinch Women on the land: their story during two world wars, Lutterworth, 1990 considers the agrarian dimension. Diana Condell and Jean Liddiard Working for victory? Images of women in the First World War 1914-1918, Routledge, 1987 provide a visual dimension. Gail Braybon and Penny Summerfield Out of the cage: women’s experiences in two world wars. Pandora, 1987 looks at both wars. Vera Brittain Testament of Youth, 1933, Virago, 1978 is the most poignant of autobiographies. Joyce Marlow (ed.) The Virago Book of Women and the Great War, Virago, 1998 is a valuable collection of primary sources.
Jill Liddington ‘The Women’s Peace Crusade’ in Dorothy Thompson (ed.) Over our dead bodies, Virago, 1983, Jo Vellacott, Jo Feminist consciousness and the First World War, History Workshop, no. 23, Spring 1987 and Anti-war suffragists, History, vol. 62, October 1977 and Ann Wiltsher Most dangerous women, Pandora, 1985 look at those women who did not support the war.
Johanna Alberti Beyond suffrage: feminists in war and peace 1914-1928, Macmillan, 1989 examines the lives of seven key feminists in the 1910s and 1920s. Deirdre Beddoe Back to home and duty, Pandora, 1989, Brian Harrison Prudent revolutionaries: Portraits of British Feminists between the Wars, Oxford University Press, 1987, Cheryl Law Suffrage and power: the women’s movement 1918-1928, I.B. Tauris, 1997 and Martin Pugh Women and the women’s movement in Britain 1914-1999, Macmillan, 2nd ed., 2000 take the story to 1928 and beyond.