Suffragette Sally
  • Publication Date: October 12, 2007
  • ISBN: 9781551114743 / 1551114747
  • 368 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Suffragette Sally

  • Publication Date: October 12, 2007
  • ISBN: 9781551114743 / 1551114747
  • 368 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Published in 1911, Suffragette Sally is one of the best-known popular novels promoting the cause of women’s suffrage in Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century. The novel details the militant campaign of the suffragist Women’s Social and Political Union against the political establishment of the time. Through its three female protagonists, each from a different class, the novel recounts the challenges faced by women who dared to flout social convention by agitating for the vote. The Sally of the title is Sally Simmonds, a maid-of-all-work in a household where she has to deal with her employer’s advances along with her daily tasks. The novel follows Sally’s conversion to the suffrage movement and details the consequences she must face as a working-class woman who risks her job, her relationships, and eventually her life for the cause.

The novel weaves together the fictional stories of the three main characters with documentary material drawn from contemporary suffrage and mainstream newspapers, and raises the hope that female alliances might someday transcend class boundaries. This Broadview edition also includes fascinating historical materials on the suffrage movement, including contemporary accounts of imprisonment, hunger strikes, and battles with police.


“Gertrude Colmore is one of the most compelling voices of the suffrage era and her Suffragette Sally stands out as one of the most significant novels of the suffrage genre. This edition will be hugely welcomed by students and scholars of literature and history alike, offering as it does a comprehensive collection of the historical documents relating to the text, as well as a thoroughly satisfying analysis of some of the literary, social, and historical issues that the novel throws up.” — Sowon Park, Oxford University

Gertrude Colmore: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Suffragette Sally

Appendix A: Additional Writing by Gertrude Colmore

  1. “Broken” (1913)
  2. “The Nun” (1913)
  3. From “Standards and Ideals of Purity” (1914)
  4. From The Life of Emily Davison (1913)

Appendix B: Suffrage: Militant, Constitutional, Anti

  1. “Constitution” (of the WSPU) (1908)
  2. “Some Questions the Electors are Asking” (1910)
  3. Helena Swanwick, “The Hope and the Meaning”
  4. Mary Augusta Ward, “Editorial” (1908)
  5. From Sir Almroth E. Wright, “Suffrage Fallacies”

Appendix C: Imprisonment, Forcible Feeding, Release

  1. From “A Speech by Lady Constance Lytton, Delivered at the Queen’s Hall, January 31, 1910” (1910)
  2. From Constance Lytton and Jane Warton, Spinster, Prisons and Prisoners: Some Personal Experiences (1914)
  3. Mary Leigh, “Forcible Feeding: Statement of Mrs. Mary Leigh to Her Solicitor” (1909)
  4. Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, “Welcome Christabel Pankhurst!” (1908)

Appendix D: The Conciliation Bill and Black Friday

  1. From H.N. Brailsford, “The ‘Conciliation’ Bill: An Explanation and Defence” (1910)
  2. Henry Noel Brailsford and Dr. Jessie Murray, “The Treatment of the Women’s Deputations by the Police” (1911)
  3. “Mr. Churchill and the Suffragists,” The Times (1910)
  4. Christabel Pankhurst, “We Revert to a State of War”

Appendix E: Contemporary Reviews

  1. The Bookman (June 1911)
  2. Votes for Women (12 May 1911)
  3. The Times Literary Supplement (4 May 1911)
  4. Votes for Women (28 June 1911)
  5. The Vote (1 July 1911)

Select Bibliography

Alison Lee is Associate Professor of English and of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at the University of Western Ontario.