Discovering Diamonds Sunday Guest Spot

Cat, dog, or budgie? TV favourites? Desert island books? I answered these and other vital questions on Helen Hollick’s Discovering Diamonds Sunday Guest Spot – and managed to talk about the Dan Foster Mysteries, To The Fair Land and The Bristol Suffragettes as well! You can read the Discovering Diamonds Sunday Guest Spot here.

 

 

Photo by Bianca Ackermann on Unsplash


Women’s War Work and the Vote

The Devil’s Porridge Museum in Scotland is devoted to telling the stories of the munitions workers at HM Factory, Gretna. On 20 May 2021 I spoke about the impact of the war on the women’s suffrage campaign (“Does she deserve the vote?”: Women’s First World War Work and Women’s Franchise) at their Women in War Conference (on Zoom), and then I sat back to listen to fellow-speakers on a variety of fascinating subjects. They included talks on women’s football, Greenham Common and women railway workers. If you missed the two-day conference, you can access the recordings at https://www.devilsporridge.org.uk/product-tag/conference, at a cost of £10.


Travels With My Book: To The Fair Land

“It was a myth, yet people still risked their lives looking for it.”

Author Debbie Young has recently launched a new series on her blog, Travels With My Book, in which writers answer questions about the settings of their books. I was delighted to contribute to the series with a blog about To The Fair Land, which is set in the imagined Fair Land, as well as literary London and maritime Bristol in the eighteenth century. In the blog I discuss the origins of the Fair Land and the history that underpins the fantasy. You can read Travels With My Book: To The Fair Land here.

 

Picture: A seventeenth-century map of the world showing Terris Australis Incognita (the Great Southern Continent); The British Library on Flickr, No Known Copyright Restrictions


To The Fair Land is Discovering Diamonds Book of the Month

To the Fair Land“It’s well written, the descriptions are graphic and engaging, the writing is tight and well done, and the story is a page turner.”

I am thrilled that To The Fair Land has been selected for Discovering Diamonds’ Book of the Month for April 2021.

As if that’s not enough, the cover design by SilverWood Books has also been selected as the Discovering Diamonds Cover of the Month!

Find out more here, and read the full Discovering Diamonds review here.

 


To The Fair Land on Tour

 

Between 26 April to 2 May 2021 To The Fair Land was on a blog tour, covering twenty one blogs in seven days with a mix of articles, author q and as, extracts and reviews. You can follow the tour on my blog here.

I’m grateful to all the bloggers and reviewers who invited To The Fair Land onto their blogs!

 

 

 

 


Suffrage Autographs – Cicely Hamilton

I recently acquired an autograph by one of my favourite authors and suffrage campaigners, Cicely Hamilton. Collecting autographs was very popular amongst suffrage campaigners, who often gathered one another’s signatures while in prison.

Cicely Hamilton was a member of the Women’s Freedom League and the Actresses’ Franchise League, wrote the words to the suffragette anthem The March of the Women, and a wrote the suffrage plays How the Vote Was Won and A Pageant of Great Women. You can find out more about suffrage autographs in my blog Suffrage Autographs – Cicely Hamilton.

 

 


Miss Browne’s Pluck: A Suffragette in North Wales

I have recorded a short presentation for the British Association for Local History about suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne. I am currently working on a biography of Millicent Browne (later Price). The talk is part of BALH’s Ten Minute Talks series which are available free to view on their website, and cover a wide range of topics from medieval graffiti to Cambridge gas works.

Miss Browne’s Pluck: A Suffragette in North Wales will be published as a Powerpoint presentation with spoken commentary, and accompanying notes will also be available. You can see the talk on the BALH website.

Picture Credit: The Women’s Library on Flickr, No Known Copyright Restrictions


The Weird, the Welsh, and the Wonderful

Let’s hear it for independent publishers who are bringing to light books that have been undeservedly forgotten – and providing some fabulous reads into the bargain! In this blog I look at Persephone Books’ Reuben Sachs by Amy Levy; Women’s Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940, edited by Melisa Edmundson from Handheld Press; and Here are Lovers by Hilda Vaughan from Honno Welsh Women’s Classics.

Read The Weird, the Welsh and the Wonderful here.

 

 


Eliza Haywood: An Eighteenth-Century Woman of Letters

“Generally, introductions tend to display at least some respect for the author whose work follows. Priestley takes a different approach…”

In my latest blog I look at eighteenth-century woman of letters Eliza Haywood and her groundbreaking journal for women, The Female Spectator, and consider how her work has been undermined by subsequent commentators. Read Ignored, Patronized and Mislabeled: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator.

Other recent blogs include:-

The Women Are Revolting: Charles G Harper and the Ladies of Llangollen – a travel writer accuses women of immorality, mannishness, promiscuity, bad language, indecency, and not putting the date on their letters.

Spotlight on…George Abraham Gibbs of Tyntesfield – why some MPs escaped the attentions of the suffragettes.

 

Tyntesfield, the home of George Abraham Gibbs


Judy the Obscure

“I’ve yet to read a biography of Charles Dickens or D H Lawrence which even mentions that they didn’t do the dusting.”

I’ve recently read Francesca Wade’s terrific group biography Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars. The book features Dorothy L Sayers (I’m a huge fan), Virginia Woolf, Eileen Power and Jane Ellen Harrison and Hilda Doolitte, who all lived in Mecklenburgh Square at different times.

One thing that struck me while I was reading Square Haunting was how much the five women relied on other women as servants, housekeepers and nannies. This led me to think about the question of women and domesticity both then and now in my recent blog, Judy the Obscure. You can read Judy the Obscure here.


“The Suffragette who beat Win C”

“So many histories about the suffrage campaigners stop at the point when their involvement in the campaign came to an end.”

Inspired by a postcard written by former suffragette Theresa Garnett in 1954, which I recently added to my collection, I’ve written a blog about her post-suffragette career. Garnett is the suffragette who famously attacked Winston Churchill at Bristol’s Temple Meads Railway station in 1909. You can read “The suffragette who beat Win C”: Theresa Garnett and the International Alliance of Women here.


Four Suffrage Books Reviewed in The Local Historian

The British Association for Local History has very generously made all issues of its journal, The Local Historian, available to view free of charge. The January 2020 issue contains my review of four books on local women’s suffrage campaigns published by Pen and Sword. The books cover Halifax, Bristol, Scotland and Liverpool. Not only can you browse past issues on the BALH website, you can read the review here.

 

 

 

Picture Credit: The Women’s Library on Flickr, No Known Copyright Restrictions


Suffragettes and the Railways

Sadly, we are unable to travel anywhere by train at the moment, but during the suffrage campaign the railway network was a vital resource for campaigners. In a three part article published on my blog this month I explore the ways in which the rail network influenced the campaign for votes for women.

“Cheap and Easy Railway Traffic”: Suffragettes and the Railways Part 1  How trains helped keep the suffrage organisations running, made it possible for militants carry out their attacks, and how they were sites for violent encounters between suffragettes and politicians.

“Cheap and Easy Railway Traffic”: Suffragettes and the Railways, Part 2: The Battle to Free Mrs Pankhurst How the Glasgow to London train became the focus of attempts to rescue Mrs Pankhurst from the police.

“Cheap and easy railway traffic”: Suffragettes and the Railways, Part 3: Arson on the Railways How the suffragettes took their militant fight for the vote onto the railways.

 

Picture Credit: The Women’s Library on Flickr, No Known Copyright Restrictions