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The March of the Women

The March of The Women Collection is a major new contributor documenting the history of the women's movement, primarily in Great Britain and Ireland, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection was compiled piece by piece over a period of 30 years, and focuses on the activities of the suffragette movement from 1903 to 1914 and the role of women during the First World War.

This splendid collection features portraits of leading players such as Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, Charlotte Despard, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and 'General' Flora Drummond, as well as photographs of marches, meetings, deputations to parliament and other campaigning by both law-abiding groups and those willing to use more shocking tactics.

Political cartoons espousing the suffragette cause are well matched by those produced by the anti-suffragette movement which caricature women who want the vote as unattractive spinsters and shrieking harridans with violent tendencies. Despised practices such as forced feeding of suffragettes in prison become fair game for humour.

In another set of postcards, women’s war work from 1914 to 1918 in munitions, as land girls, drivers and tram operators, is both admired and an excuse for a bit of sauciness. An Easter postcard of two ducklings wearing the khaki hats of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps and crying ‘W.A.A.C.! W.A.A.C.!!’ is a delightful addition.