Hearts and Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgimage and How Women Won the Vote

Written by Jane Robinson
Review by Cathy Kemp

Knowing the differences between suffragists and suffragettes may seem clear cut to us now, but at that distance in history, fake news was rife, particularly where bigotry blighted the population. The suffragettes were prepared to use any means to bring attention to their cause, fighting the system and riling politicians, police and the public. Suffragists undertook persuasive methods of peaceful meetings to inform and educate across the whole of society, but their militant sisters fouled their standing, making them targets for unprovoked attack.

The culmination of the suffragist’s endeavours, the Women’s March in 1913, highlighted that the females were capable of organising, co-ordinating and executing a peaceful, many-pronged protest. The insight given here into the character and background of these women shows the sacrifice and bravery required to effect democratic change, including the risks to life. Abandoning their home lives, the ordeal of walking through unknown parts and the camaraderie these women found have been realistically portrayed and it’s an enlightening read. Instrumental in increasing awareness of their plight to the nation, allied with their input in the Great War, votes for women were granted in 1918.