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Struggle and Suffrage in Norwich (Paperback)

Women's Lives and the Fight for Equality

P&S History Women of History > Struggle & Suffrage World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Gill Blanchard
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Struggle and Suffrage
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 25 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526717610
Published: 14th September 2020



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This book focuses on how there was more to women’s history than just the suffrage campaign and women’s war work by looking at the broader context of women’s achievements.

The book is divided into themes looking at education, work, marriage, relationships, health and maternity, poverty and housing, and the involvement of women in political parties and campaigns for social and legal reforms, including the right to vote.

It explores these themes through the lives of both the well-known and women who rarely, if ever, make the history books. The stories of Norwich women such as Mabel Clarkson, the first female sheriff in England, and one of the first women councillors and Lady Lord Mayor; and Dorothy Jewson, the first female MP in Norwich and East Anglia, provide the backdrop to the history of campaigns against poverty and women’s right to vote.

Drawing on published and unpublished material held in the record office and heritage centre, the National Archives, museums and private collections, this book explores the lives of individual women to chart transformational changes in society at large, and Norwich in particular. These social, political and legal changes can be traced through the lives of divorcee Elizabeth Gurney; suffragette Miriam Pratt; nurse Philippa Flowerday, blacksmith Elizabeth Sabberton; economist and writer Harriet Martineau and abolitionist and writer Amelia Opie, and numerous schoolteachers, clerks, tradeswomen, weavers, WWI munitionettes and more.

As featured in

Saxmundham News


Leiston Observer

As featured in

Aldeburgh Times

Gill Blanchard's book is relevant not only to those who have an interest in Norwich, but also to those interested in the issues covered and those researching their own local history. A valuable addition to any bookshelf.

Family and Community Historical Research Society

Listed in the Books of the month feature by Bruce Kemble-Johnson

Looking at poverty/housing, education/work, social and legal reforms and relationships/marriage using material in the Norfolk Record Office, we find many fascinating accounts of women fighting for equality.

Lets Talk!, February 2021

Gill Blanchard interviewed by

Future Radio, Community Sessions show - 14th December 2020

In the introduction Gill says she has tried to give the women of Norwich a voice – something she has certainly done. Anybody wanting to understand more of their struggle would benefit from reading Gill’s book.

Thorpe (Norwich) History Group newsletter and 'Friends of the Rosary Cemetery' newsletter

Review by Edith Morley

Struggle and Suffrage in Norwich is well written and meticulously researched and the Index, Sources and Bibliography are superb. There is an excellent and very useful General Timeline 1850 to 1950

Diss and Area Family History Group newsletter and the Norfolk Family History Society Facebook page
 Gill Blanchard

About Gill Blanchard

Gill Blanchard, BA. MA, PGCE (PCE) has been a local historian, genealogist and house historian since 1997 and previously worked in a local record office for six years. She is the author of several books, including Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, Writing Your Family History and Tracing Your House History. She also writes regularly for national genealogy magazines and is a full member of AGRA – the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. 

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