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Suffragettes of Kent (Paperback)

Local History British History Social History Women of History 20th Century

By Jennifer Godfrey
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 276
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526723512
Published: 24th September 2019

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Suffragettes of Kent delivers a thought provoking insight into the many stories and journeys of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Kent.

Discover an untold story of Ethel Baldock, a young working class Kent maid, involved in the suffrage movement. See photographs of Ethel and learn of her arrest and imprisonment for her part in the 1912 window-smashing militant action.

The tours of Kent by the Women’s Freedom League in 1908 and 1913 and the Women’s Social Political Union in 1913 are retraced. Their messages and the reaction of the Kent inhabitants are explored. A detailed account is given of the significant part Kent played in the 1913 mass pilgrimage to London by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Revealing the part Maidstone Prison played in forcible feeding of suffragette prisoners, the book includes accounts by those who experienced such treatment and a medical report by Maidstone Prison’s leading medical officer, Dr. Charles Edward Hoar. Discover who was imprisoned in Kent’s Maidstone and Canterbury prisons, including a leading women’s suffrage pioneer.

Detailing connections between national women’s suffrage pioneers and the county of Kent, this book includes accounts from 1866 through to 1928 of significant meetings, visits, speeches, tours, demonstrations and militant action. Incorporated are stories of pioneers such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Millicent Fawcett, Charlotte Despard, Christabel Pankhurst, Emily Wilding Davison, Mrs Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and Annie Kenney.

Discover who challenged their Kent audience to do more for ‘the Cause’ and which pioneer was stoned and injured by an audience in Maidstone. Find out who hid overnight and became the first to disturb a political meeting in the county and who was much celebrated on her visit to Kent seaside towns. Read details of how Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, and Home Secretary, Mr Gladstone were targeted in Kent by suffragettes. Learn how some Kent residents boycotted the 1911 census and of the Kent manor house subjected to a militant arson attack whilst servants slept inside.

The book looks at some of the major players in the suffragette movement which is very well done but it doesn’t just rely on the individual, it takes about the issue and what the women were having to deal with. What I enjoyed mostly was probably learning about more of the individuals I looked more at women involved more from the north of England which looked from a slightly different perspective but ultimately the women were having to put up with all the same bias, treatment and behaviour.


I have definitely enjoyed reading Suffragettes of Kent, which is impressively written, designed and illustrated. A very full 5 stars from me and a lovely well informed read.

UK Historian

It's a bit like reading the screenplay for the film Suffragette! Vivid accounts of the abuse of and hardships experienced by the suffragette movement in the county of Kent. One of the most moving histories of the movement in Pen and Sword's brilliant series.

Books Monthly

Book launch coverage as featured by

Sevenoaks Chronicle, 17th October 2019

I enjoyed this approach rather more than a conventional chronological narrative as it gave the author the flexibility to research particular ‘stories’ more effectively. She has assiduously mined local papers and introduces us to suffragettes/suffragists who have not previously received much attention... I thoroughly enjoyed reading Suffragettes of Kent, which is lavishly illustrated, and imagine that it will win readers and stimulate yet further suffrage research in that county

Read the full review here

Woman and her Sphere

Featured in

Sevenoaks District Council Newsletter, August 2019

About Jennifer Godfrey

Jennifer Godfrey is a first time author. She enjoys listening to and learning from other people’s stories. Having previously been a Solicitor she trained to accurately convey accounts of an event or situation. Whilst working at a mental health charity, Jennifer listened to stories and experiences and used these to create resources for young people. Writing Suffragettes of Kent has enabled Jennifer to become an advocate once again, but this time for historic Kent voices.

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