The Suffragette Bombers Britain's Forgotten Terrorists by Simon Webb
The suffragettes (as distinct from suffragists) actually led Britain's first terrorist campaign. Areal you shocked? I was shocked, but Simon Webb presents such a good argument for this that there is really no doubting it. He dispels the myth that they were a harmless group who threw rocks at a few windows and set small fires to some letter-boxes, never intentionally harming anyone. The Pankhursts were actually in charge of a proto-fascist group which committed countless bombings, arson attacks, and even tried to assassinate Lloyd George. They also didn't want votes for all women, but only votes for a certain higher class of women. Some leading suffragettes joined Mosley's Blackshirts and even wrote about the extensive similarities between the suffragettes and the Fascists.
Simon Webb also gets rid of our ideas about Emily Davison who became a martyr by throwing herself under the King's horse at the 1913 Derby for 'the cause'. She is called 'young' on the BBC History website, but she was over 40. This might be young today (although probably only if you are a CEO or a PM) but it certainly wasn't then. He writes that Davison was a fanatical woman who committed other attacks, and didn't care about harming other people. She also couldn't get a job.
This became a bit repetitive, but it was mostly because the members of the Women's Social and Political Union committed so many attacks, including placing bombs in Westminster Abbey and St Paul's, burning down country houses and setting fire to railway stations. Webb lists all of them to make his point. However, I found his analysis of the suffragettes, why we mistakenly admire them and why women eventually got the vote excellent.
I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.