I have some exciting news to share with you. I can exclusively reveal that my debut book, Parliamentary Pioneers: Labour Women MPs 1918-1945, will be published in March by Urbane.
I’m extremely proud of this project, not least because it’s been a true labour of love from when I embarked on this journey, some 20 years ago. I have spent time intermittently researching, interviewing and writing chapters in my spare time.
Parliamentary Pioneers charts the rise of the first Labour women MPs the first of whom were elected in 1923.
It’s an important story and one that I have been seeking to tell for so long. It shows how the foundations for Labour women began and chronicles a period of history, following on from the well documented suffragette movement. Had it not been for the suffragettes and their perilous and unforgiving fight we may never have seen the emergence of the likes of Margaret Bondfield, and Susan Lawrence and Ellen Wilkinson among others.
It has been a privilege to write about these doughty women who, because of the constraints placed upon them during this period of history, faced many limitations. In spite of this, or maybe because of it they were fearless, tough and unperturbed while fighting for social justice, workers’ rights, welfare and better educational opportunities not to mention women’s rights.
I hope you enjoy reading about this little told period of history and of these inspirational women as much as I have enjoyed writing about them.
My thanks to everyone who has helped to develop this book, especially publisher Matthew Smith from Urbane.
Also thanks to both Harriet Harman MP and Stella Creasy MP for their support and valuable contribution. I interviewed Harriet and Stella for the final chapter of the book and each shared their unique insight into life as a modern day Labour woman MP.
You can order Parliamentary Pioneers here.