If anyone is wavering on whether to vote in the coming election, make them read this book.

The year is 1917. World War I is raging, and women have put down their banners to help the common cause. Emmeline Pankhurst’s account of the early years of the suffrage movement and the brave women who sacrificed their lives and their wellbeing in vain for decades hits hard.

Her story, which talks about the struggles and misconceptions of what the suffragette movement meant to people around the country, isn’t just about the rallying of troops. It is about activism and the systematic denial of politicians to grant such a significant yet non-costly request.

Without throwing any stones directly, Lord Asquith (prime minister at the time) comes across as an evil and pernicious woman-hater. Churchill, who is remembered for his latter political success, was also an avid opposer of the emancipation of women. They come across as petty bullies, who do nothing but hide behind closed doors and policemans’ truncheons.

Instead, they were dragged by their hair, beaten up, crushed, imprisoned repeatedly, persecuted and (in some cases) killed in their fight for the vote.

Favourite quote: “The keenest weapon is powerlesss unless it is corageously wielded.”

This review is part of my 1000 before 30 challenge. Read more about it here.

Featured image: Creative  commons picture courtesy of BBC Radio 4
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