Posted in Publisher Proof

The Rebel Suffragette: The Life of Edith Rigby by Beverley Adams.

When I was asked if I’d like to join the blog tour for a book about a suffragette I thought I pretty much knew what to expect. When I received my copy and I read the blurb on the inside cover I was really excited. First of all she was a Northerner like me and even better, she threw a black pudding at an MP. That’s about as Northern as it gets. Everything we’re taught about the movement focuses on the Pankhurst’s and the rallies based in London. What this author does is reframe the movement to the North West, where Edith Rigby founded the Preston branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union. In doing this, the author reminds us that this was a nationwide movement, but also introduces us to a fascinating woman who was ahead of her time.

This is a well written and well researched autobiography about a fascinating woman who wouldn’t be told what her place was. Born to a lower middle class family in Preston, Lancashire, they lived in a dual purpose house which was part home and part doctor’s surgery where her father was doctor to the local mill working community. I enjoyed learning about how Edith grew up, because it was possibly this stable and happy environment that influenced her thirst for knowledge, individuality and equality. She saw how gender, and particularly class, affected children’s future circumstances and because she was so caring she went out of her way to help – even saving up her pennies to give gifts to local children on Christmas morning. While her actions within the Suffragette movement were fascinating reading, I really found the other aspects of her life interesting too. She was the first woman in her area to ride a bicycle and persisted in riding it, despite being heckled and pelted with vegetables, and even preached against by the local vicar. She liked the freedom her own transport gave her. Luckily, she found a man who enjoyed her vivacious and free spirit because she set out her stall from the wedding day. She was also adamant she was keeping her Christian name, so that instead of being named Dr and Mrs Charles Rigby they became Dr Charles and Mrs Edith Rigby. Having kept my own surname when married I felt a kinship with Edith and I also share her love of North Wales. Her determination to live by her principles was inspiring and it’s clearly this that informed her work with the school for young women that she founded. It also inspired the lengths she went to for the suffragette cause including arson, planning a bombing in Liverpool and going on hunger strike in prison. I applaud the author for bringing this incredibly strong woman to our attention and I recommend the book highly.

Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal! The Rebel Suffragette by Beverley Adams.

Today I’m part of the cover reveal for this interesting book about suffragette Edith Rigby. Check out the blurb below.

The Blurb

The suffragette movement swept the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Led by the Pankhursts, the focus of the movement was in London with demonstrations and rallies taking place across the capital. But this was a nationwide movement with a strong northern influence with Edith Rigby being an ardent supporter. Edith was a controversial figure, not only was she was the first woman to own and ride a bicycle in her home town but she was founder of a school for girls and young women. Edith followed the example of Emmeline Pankhurst and her supporters and founded the Preston branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was found guilty of arson and an attempted bomb attack in Liverpool following which she was incarcerated and endured hunger strike forming part of the ‘Cat and Mouse’ system with the government. During a political rally with Winston Churchill Edith threw a black pudding at a MP.

There are many tales to tell in the life of Edith Rigby, she was charismatic, passionate, ruthless and thoroughly unpredictable. She was someone who rejected the accepted notion of what a woman of her class should be the way she dressed and the way she ran her household but she was independent in mind and spirit and always had courage in her own convictions. As a suffragette, she was just as effective and brave as the Pankhurst women. This is the story of a life of a lesser known suffragette. This is Edith’s story.

Look out for the blog tour coming soon.