Bombs and Birth Control: Making the Modern Suffragette

Six-week course, beginning -
Adult Course Bombs and Birth Control

For more information

  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email:
  • Full Price: £295.00 Member: £250.00 Other concessions available

Take a fresh look at the history of women's suffrage in the UK

Course dates: Thursdays 1, 8, 15, 22 February; 1 and 8 March 2018

Times: 14.00 – 16.00

Read the full course outline

Tied to railings, marching on Parliament, passionate speeches and horrific force feedings – these are the memories we have of the Suffragettes. But in 2018, as the first centenary of the Representation of the People’s Act passes by, is there more to the story and history of the British women’s movement than we have previously acknowledged?

Take a fresh look with Dr Fern Riddell and discover that, far from being voteless victims, British women have always been powerful and passionate campaigners for their rights. Over six weeks you’ll explore the beginning of feminist thought in the UK and its connection to gothic horror, Frankenstein and birth control; analyse the rhetoric and actions of a violent and aggressive feminist organisation, which used bombs and arson attacks on trains, churches, MPs' homes and even St Paul’s cathedral to try and convince the government that women were owed equal rights with men; and examine the hidden and forgotten stories of women’s independence before the vote. We’ll also have rare opportunity to see and explore key publications and ephemera connected with the suffrage movement from the Library’s collections.

This course is led by Dr Fern Riddell, with contributions from British Library curators Alison Bailey (Lead Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1901-2000) and Helen Peden (Curator of Printed Heritage Collections 1601-1900). Dr Riddell appears regularly on television and radio as an expert in sexual culture and suffragette terrorism. She is the author of A Victorian Guide To Sex (Pen and Sword, 2014), and the forthcoming biography Death in Ten Minutes (Hodder & Stoughton, 2018), of Suffragette arsonist and bomber Kitty Marion.

This course takes place in the British Library Boardroom. Please meet for this course at the Information Desk in the Entrance Hall.


Name: Bombs and Birth Control: Making the Modern Suffragette
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Price: Full Price: £295.00
Member: £250.00
Senior 60+: £265.00
Student: £250.00
Registered Unemployed: £250.00
Friend of the British Library: £250.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546