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Emily Wilding Davison was the most famous suffragette to die in the battle for women’s rights after she rushed onto the Epsom racecourse in 1913 and collided with the King’s horse.

Her notorious final act of protest has for decades obscured the extraordinary life she lived and the impassioned arguments that underpinned her militancy.

In this centenary year of UK women first receiving the franchise, this biography reveals the true story of Davison’s life and times.

A middle-class governess for most of her adulthood, she pivoted towards violence, vandalism, jail time and force-feeding only in her final years.

Lucy Fisher, a Times journalist, draws on the suffragette’s own words, contemporary press reports, local histories and academic scholarship to paint a vivid picture of a strange life and a tragic finale.


In Lucy Fisher's compelling narrative Emily Wilding Davison finds her ideal biographer.  Here is the story of a courageous woman, intelligent, dedicated, uncompromising, told in sympathetic detail – warts and all. As I read of Davison's seven hunger strikes and the forty-nine times she was force-fed, I admired her bravery and was awed by her sustained militancy.  We owe her much and Lucy Fisher brings to her story a keen, appraising eye.

Joan Bakewell

Lucy Fisher's compelling account of Emily Wilding Davison's struggle is a must-read. Her biography paints a vivid picture of an extraordinarily committed and radical suffragette who dedicated her life to the women's movement. I can't recommend this book enough – and would urge anyone interested in the feminist struggle to read it.

Caroline Lucas, MP

At last! A biography of the suffragette martyr who emerged from the crowd to try to grab the bridle of King George V's horse at the 1913 Derby, symbolically reaching for the reins of power. Lucy Fisher's definitive and dashing narrative honours Emily Wilding Davison, who died for Votes for Women.

Diane Atkinson

Compelling, enraging and inspiring. Lucy Fisher reveals Emily Wilding Davison to have been a passionate and difficult woman whom it is impossible not to admire.

Caroline Criado Perez

Emily Wilding Davison’s qualities – total dedication to a controversial cause, preparedness to endure suffering and vilification, super-activism, almost supernatural resilience – these are the very qualities that today’s generation of feminists need. This book sweeps you through her incredible life and leaves you certain that today she’d be at the forefront of modern women’s struggles: #MeToo, the pay gap and the battle against domestic violence. A book for boys and men, too, to learn that women changed the world.

Harriet Harman
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  • Paperback, 288 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785904127
  • 24 July 2018
    Available to pre-order
  • £12.99

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  • ISBN: 9781785904134
  • 24 July 2018
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Similar titles:

The Honourable Ladies: Volume I
The Honourable Ladies: Volume II
The Suffragette Derby
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