Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Sally Heathcote: sufragette

Life of  a sufragette 
Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst or Emelyn Davison are some names most people interested in the Sufragettes movement may be familiar with. However, as it is easy to imagine, the strength of this radical group of activists lay in its numbers, those committed women who fought bravely against the odds, who staged hunger strikes, who were imprisoned and risked their lives. An example of all this was the case of Sally Heathcote, whose eventful life this book is based on, which tells, in graphic novel format, the adventures of one of the most fascinating civil disobedience movements of the last centuries.
A wonderful team composed of Mary and Bryan Talbot (who published in 2012 another very interesting and acclaimed graphic novel Dotter of her father's eyes, based on a James Joyce's daughter life), and cartoonist Kate Charlesworth, deliver a true page-turner that becomes a must for readers with an interest in social history and the 'votes for women' campaigns. It is also refreshing that the book, rather than give centre stage to those better known figures, the authors chose to focus on a less known activist, who was also from a very different social background to the Pankhursts sisters and other members.

No going back

 Despite the fact of being an invented character, the device works extremely well as it brings a new perspective to a historical movement.
The novel is beautifully designed, it is a joy to read that conveys brilliantly the Sufragettes' urgency and mood. Once again, a powerful and informative book that should be read widely, particularly now that we approach 8 March, International Women's Day.