Vote for Murder – Suffragette Protest

WSPU fob“One of the women in the group, notably taller than her peers, clapped her hands, “quickly now girls,” she said. “We do not want Millicent to get wind of this.”

They hurried down a wide road into a warren of alleyways and presently found themselves at a street corner. The tall woman beckoned them to stop and they stood quietly in the shadow of the wall.

“The police station is over there,” she whispered. “As soon as you have let loose run as quickly as you can in different directions, like you did before. Are you ready?”

“Ready for what?” asked Louisa, but her voice was drowned by a sea of noise as the women ran towards the red-brick station, hurling a volley of stones into the windows of the building. They cracked like gunshots in the dusky night.”

Extract from Vote for Murder

Suffragist or suffragette?

Deed not words

Vote for Murder combines a true Victorian murder with a 1911 story of suffragism and census evasion.  Both events were inspired by ancestors within my family tree.  But what is the difference between a suffragist & a suffragette?

Women’s suffrage was the struggle for the right to vote and stand for electoral office.  Throughout the nineteenth century, women had no place in politics but in the 1800’s, women began to campaign for the right to vote.  These women were known as suffragists.  My ancestor, Herbert Cowell, married Alice Garrett in 1863 against her fathers’ wishes.  Alice’s older sister, Elizabeth Garrett (later Garrett Anderson), became the first female doctor to qualify in England and Alice’s younger sister, Millicent Garrett, later Millicent Fawcett , was a prominent suffragist.

Many local suffrage societies were formed following the inception of the Sheffield Female Political Association in 1851 and in 1897 these individual units were bought together under the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies headed by Millicent Fawcett.   The NUWSS was mostly composed of middle class, educated women and they took a long-term, peaceful approach to gaining the vote.

In 1903 a suffragist, Emmeline Pankhurst, became impatient with this method and left the NUWSS to set up her own society, the Women’s Social and Political Union.  She employed more militant tactics and the Daily Mail coined the name ‘suffragettes’ as a term of derision.  Suffragettes were prepared to break the law to gain the vote, chaining themselves to railings, damaging property and disrupting public meetings.   They endured imprisonment and force feeding as a result of their activities.

When World War I started in 1914, all suffrage activity ceased.  And in 1918, women over the age of 30, who met minimum property requirements, were given the right to vote.   It was only in 1928 that women achieved full electoral equality with men when voting rights given to all women over 21.

Vote For Murder – Sample Extract

“Alfred said he was afraid of this but continued without preamble stating that Mary had been found guilty of murder by poison and would die within a week. There was nothing that could prevent her execution, so any renewal of our friendship would inevitably be of short and painful duration.”

Extract from the diary of Anna Tomkins, August 1851

A short excerpt from Vote for Murder is available here

VIntage  Apothecary Bottle

Vote For Murder – Available Now

Front cover snipIn the Spring of 1911, suffragist Louisa Russell finds an old diary in a box of artefacts, while attending a census evasion night at the Old Museum in Ipswich. The diary recounts the last days of Mary Emily Cage, executed for the murder of her husband six decades earlier.

When Louisa’s next door neighbour, Charles Drummond, dies under suspicious circumstances, the parallels between the two deaths become impossible to ignore.  But can two deaths sixty years apart be linked?  And can Louisa find the poisoner before an innocent woman is convicted?

Vote for murder is based on a real poisoning by Suffolk murderess, Mary Cage.  Set in Ipswich in 1911, the novel brings together suffragism in the early 1900’s and a grisly, Victorian murder. Vote for Murder will appeal to readers of historical fiction, genealogical mysteries and Suffolk based crime books.

Available in the Amazon Kindle store now http://tinyurl.com/pbpzehr and will follow in paperback shortly.

Coming Soon…….

Vote For Murder

Front cover snipIn the Spring of 1911, suffragist Louisa Russell finds an old diary in a box of artefacts, while attending a census evasion night at the Old Museum in Ipswich. The diary recounts the last days of Mary Emily Cage, executed for the murder of her husband six decades earlier.

When Louisa’s next door neighbour, Charles Drummond, dies under suspicious circumstances, the parallels between the two deaths become impossible to ignore.  But can two deaths sixty years apart be linked?  And can Louisa find the poisoner before an innocent woman is convicted?

 

Vote for murder is based on a real poisoning by Suffolk murderess, Mary Cage.  Set in Ipswich in 1911, the novel brings together suffragism in the early 1900’s and a grisly, Victorian murder. Due for publication at the end of September, Vote for Murder will appeal to readers of historical fiction, genealogical mysteries and Suffolk based crime books.