Struggle and Suffrage in Morpeth & Northumberland written by Craig Armstrong and published by Pen and Sword Books – £12.99 – Softcover – Pages 103

This book, part of the Women’s Lives and the Fight for Equality series, I would say is based upon a similar premise to the Your Towns and Cities in World War I & II Series’ in that each book looks at the topic relevant to that county and area. This particular book looks at women’s suffrage in the Morpeth and Northumberland area, which was quite a rural and lacked distinction area, only in that there is few big towns or cities in the area so life took a slower pace than other areas. We see how jobs for women were scarce other than the traditional ones, but where women could find work it tended to hard work indeed. We learn for example about female labourers or bondagers, who had to undertake hard manual labour in an agricultural setting, but who were like the backbone of the economy in many ways. In the book we also learn about women’s suffrage in the area through World War One and Two and how the roles of women were affected or how they influenced local society.

As a big fan and supporter of promoting women’s history, this series of books combined in the format of my favourite ‘Your Towns and Cities’ series it’s quite obvious that I am going to enjoy it and recommend it to others. Just like the Your Towns and Cities it gives you a good history of local news and events that affect the area, combined with a small slice of national news of the time. An excellent combination and ideal for the person who wants to learn about local history and how that can coincide with national events. I really enjoyed this book indeed, and I also got to learn about how Emily Davison’s mother came from the area and we got a glimpse at how they saw the suffrage movement from their own rural opinion. Along with how Emily Davison is buried there in a quiet graveyard. My only criticism of the book was that it was a bit short and I would have liked to have read a longer book or it could have gone into more depth. Written by Craig Armstrong, having read a few of his I like his writing style which helped with the enjoyment of the book. Have a look at this book or certainly some of the others from this series.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.