Queen Victoria is most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad wicked folly of women's rights, with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor sex is bent' - 1870It was a bloody and dangerous war lasting several decades, won finally by sheer will and determination in 1928.
Drawing on extracts from diaries, newspapers, letters, journals and books, Joyce Marlow has pieced together this inspiring, poignant and exciting history using the voices of the women themselves.
Some of the people and events are well-known, but Marlow has gone beyond the obvious, particularly beyond London, to show us the ordinary women - middle and working-class, who had the breathtaking courage to stand up and be counted - or just as likely hectored, or pelted with eggs.
These women were clever and determined, knew the power of humour and surprise and exhibited 'unladylike' passion and bravery. Joyce Marlow's anthology is lively, comprehensive, surprising and triumphant.