"... giving an overall account, he provides a guide to the literature on the subject, with a very impressive bibliography."The Fawcett library newsletter
From the Back Cover
SEMINAR STUDIES IN HISTORY
General Editors- Clive Emsley & Gordon Martel
"Seminar Studies in History...provide a means of bridging the gap between specialist articles and monographs and textbooks. They are written by acknowledged experts on the subject who are not only familiar with current thinking but have often contributed to it. Their format, well-tried and effective, combines information, analysis and assessment effectively. The selections of documents, included from the outset of the series when document work was hardly in vogue in schools, not merely illustrates points made in the text but provides an effective medium for discussion on the issues raised. The further reading guide has stimulated countless students to take their interests further. The structure of the series may not have changed through time but the format has, with attractive four-colour covers and larger pages....Seminar Studies are still, despite all the opposition, a market leader."
This new Seminar Study is the first book to trace the British womens suffrage campaign from its origins in the 1860s through to the achievement of equal suffrage in 1928. Unlike most studies the author pays equal attention to the period after 1914 when suffrage legislation was actually obtained. It is not just an up-to-date synthesis of the most recent scholarship (much of which is to be found in only scholarly, specialist journals) but it also provides new material on the 1920s suffrage campaign, based on the authors own research. Accessible and engaging - the book is sure to be widely welcomed.
Professor Smith focuses on the actions of reformers and their opponents, with due attention paid to the campaigns in Scotland and Wales as well as the movements in England. Within a chronological framework he explores why womens suffrage was such a contentious issue, and how women gained the vote despite opponents fears that it would undermine gender boundaries (thus the suffrage campaign is firmly placed in the context of gender conflicts developing during this period). The campaign is not treated in isolation- not only is it viewed as part of the emerging womens movement but it is also integrated into the wider political picture. Thus the book sheds light on related issues, such as the reasons for the Liberal Partys decline and the Conservative Partys unexpected electoral success in the interwar years.
The main text is supplemented by a fascinating array of primary documents (many of which illustrate contemporaries ideas on womens suffrage), a chronology of events, a glossary of the main characters and organisations, as well as a comprehensive bibliography.