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Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol (Paperback)

Women's Lives and the Fight for Equality

Local History P&S History Social History Women of History Struggle and Suffrage

By Christina Hollis
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Struggle and Suffrage
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526717696
Published: 13th February 2019

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It’s freezing, pitch black, and silent— apart from the sound of rats under the bed your wheezing children share. Snow has blown in under the door overnight. Fetching all the water you need from the communal well will be a slippery job today. If your husband gives you some money, your family can eat. If not, hard luck. You’ll all have to go hungry. Welcome to the life of a Victorian woman living in one of Bristol’s riverside tenements.

Women lurked in the footnotes of history until they gained an element of control, first over their own money, later their vote and finally, their lives. Much of that progress was driven by women themselves. It took a hundred years of hard work, lobbying and violence before their lives improved to anything like today’s standards. The only way was up—and Bristol women led the way.

Article: 'Ladies' plight - Story of struggle and suffrage tells history of city' as featured by

Bristol Post, 7th May 2019 – words by Eugene Byrne

This book is meticulously researched and contains extensive reference notes, bibliography and a detailed index. This is an excellent contribution to the history of Bristol's women.

Bristol & Avon FHS

It’s dark, it’s depressing, it’s sometimes funny. It’s a reminder to keep persevering and fighting. These women before us were made of strong stuff, resilient, daring and brave they fought for women in Bristol today so we could go to work, so we could vote, so we could walk through the streets unaccompanied by a man. And there is a rebellious tone in Hollis’s voice, nearing the end of the book there’s hope, a small spark and it picks up a little bit of pace. We’re reminded of the performers hailing from Bristol and their international fame and success. In fact, with such comparisons to the beginning of the book you start to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

It’s made me look at the place I live in a completely different light, Harbourside, where I enjoy socialising with friends has now changed, where I feel I understand another layer to it. I understand what it took for me to sit outside in my t-shirt and shorts and order a glass of wine on a summer’s evening. My fundamental rights were built here, and Hollis did a fantastic job of reminding me. Although it did not cover the story of all women of all backgrounds, it’s an excellent read for those like me who don’t feel like they know enough about the women before us.

Read the full review here

Bristol Women's Voice

About Christina Hollis

Christina Hollis spent her childhood being shuttled back and forth across Bristol between her two sets of grandparents, who lived on opposite sides of the city.

She started her working life in an office overlooking Temple Gate, before moving to one that looked down on the Bear Pit, Stoke’s Croft. After a spell in Rolls-Royce’s Technical Library, Filton, she became a full-time writer.

Christina now lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband and two children. Her non-fiction articles have appeared in many national magazines, from The Lady to the Royal Horticultural Society’s periodical The Garden. Christina has also written more than twenty novels, which have been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

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