Marking the centenary of female suffrage, this definitive history charts women's fight for the vote through the lives of those who took part, in a timely celebration of an extraordinary struggle
An Observer Pick of 2018
A New Statesman Book of 2018
Between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the First World War, while the patriarchs of the Liberal and Tory parties vied for supremacy in parliament, the campaign for women's suffrage was fought with great flair and imagination in the public arena.
Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, the suffragettes and their actions would come to define protest movements for generations to come. From their marches on Parliament and 10 Downing Street, to the selling of their paper, Votes for Women, through to the more militant activities of the Women's Social and Political Union, whose slogan 'Deeds Not Words!' resided over bombed pillar-boxes, acts of arson and the slashing of great works of art, the women who participated in the movement endured police brutality, assault, imprisonment and force-feeding, all in the relentless pursuit of one goal: the right to vote.
A hundred years on, Diane Atkinson celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to 'Rise Up'; a richly diverse group that spanned the divides of class and country, women of all ages who were determined to fight for what had been so long denied. Actresses to mill-workers, teachers to doctors, seamstresses to scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English; a wealth of women's lives are brought together for the first time, in this meticulously researched, vividly rendered and truly defining biography of a movement.
About the Author
Diane Atkinson is the author of two illustrated history books, Suffragettes in Pictures and Funny Girls: Cartooning for Equality, and three biographies, Love & Dirt, Elsie and Mairi Go to War and The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton. A regular lecturer on the suffragettes at conferences and literary festivals, Diane Atkinson has also appeared on radio programmes including Woman's Hour, and has consulted on numerous television documentaries, as well as, most recently, the film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham-Carter. She lives in London.
A definitive history of the suffragettes ... Atkinson exhorts her readers to salute the suffragettes. She is right to so do. It is easy to assume that women's suffrage was inevitable, but that should not detract from the efforts and losses undertaken by the pioneers so vividly described here -- Lucy Fisher * The Times *
A thrilling and inspiring read! For too long these extraordinary women have been hidden from history. Rise Up Women! should be a standard text in all schools. And will be a treasured handbook for today's feminists -- Harriet Harman MP
Impressive and colourful, vivid and meticulous ... For a blanket history of the suffragette movement, Diane Atkinson's Rise Up, Women! should be your pick. This hefty volume leaves few stones unturned, chronicling the campaign in scrupulous detail * Independent *
Diane Atkinson's detailed and authoritative Rise Up, Women! seems to me to be pretty much a definitive history of the suffragettes ... Hurl this volume at a Westminster window, and it would break in an instant -- Rachel Cooke * Observer *
Glorious ...What it does emphasise is the courage of those women -- Daisy Goodwin * Sunday Times *
Atkinson chronicles the deeds and sufferings of more than 100 women in Edwardian Britain who clashed with the authorities in the pursuit of Votes for Women ... The moral courage of these people is humbling * Daily Telegraph, `Summer Reading 2018' *
Substantial and impressive ... Surely destined to become a key general text, ranking alongside classic tomes ... Atkinson's book provide an accessible, captivating, chronological account that incorporates recent developments as well as first-hand accounts * Times Literary Supplement *
Celebratory ... Tells us how the movement changed individual women's lives * London Review of Books *
An exclusive and captivating story of this remarkable movement * Sunday Express *
Scrupulously researched and highly readable * History Today *
This is the untold story of the women's suffrage movement at last revealed in glorious 360 detail. Rise Up Women! is heartbreaking, inspiring and incredibly rewarding to read -- Dr Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana
Patiently, skilfully and empathetically, Diane Atkinson gives us the fullest, most insightful history yet of the suffragette movement and the courageous women who drove it forward to eventual fruition -- David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain
Rise up and buy this book! Diane Atkinson has produced an instant classic of feminist history. All the spectacular drama and intrigue of the decade long militant campaign for the women's vote is staged in this immensely readable suffragette epic -- Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx
A shocking and yet curiously exhilarating history of a group of women from all classes who simply refused to be crushed ... Atkinson makes us feel so proud of that fight -- Miranda Seymour, author of Noble Endeavours
In a new biography of the suffragette movement, Diane Atkinson has written not just a useful guide, but a terrific page-turner. It reads at times like a novel, but with characters and events you couldn't make up ... A tour de force * Prospect *