First In The Fight

Book about Our Emmeline and Manchester’s radical women to be published in Autumn 2019

About The Book

In December 2018 Our Emmeline was unveiled as the first female statue in Manchester since 1901, as the finale to a year in which the centenary of Votes for Women was marked. Our Emmeline was the result of a public campaign that captured the hearts of the nation and beyond. Now on Emmeline’s birthday (15 July 2019) the publication of a book, titled First in the Fight, has been announced, which will celebrate the achievements of Manchester’s radical women.

First in the Fight will be published in autumn 2019, telling the stories of all 20 women that featured on the original Womanchester list from which the public voted for Emmeline Pankhurst and Our Emmeline was the result. First in the Fight is a collaboration between Andrew Simcock, who spearheaded the Our Emmeline campaign, social historian Helen Antrobus and publishers iNostalgia.

The book tells the story of a city where, from the women who marched to St Peter’s Field flying the flag for reform to the first entrepreneurs, women have long stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight for equality and social change. First in the Fight will be written by Helen Antrobus, with an array of contributors helping to bring the stories and accomplishments of each of these remarkable women to life.

The full list of women featured in First in the Fight is Margaret Ashton, Lydia Becker, Louise Da-Cocodia, Margaret Downes, Elizabeth Gaskell, Annie Horniman, Sunny Lowry, Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Emmeline Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst, Mary Quayle, Elizabeth Raffald, Esther Roper, Enriqueta Rylands, Olive Shapley, Shena Simon, Marie Stopes, Ellen Wilkinson and Emily Williamson.

The Our Emmeline project created such positive energy and reminded all what a progressive city Manchester is, and has always been. So I’m delighted that through First in the Fight we’ll be exploring the stories of all the women that were part of the Womanchester project, where this journey began, and that the legacy of Our Emmeline continues.

Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Committee

About the author

Helen Antrobus is a social history curator and historian from Manchester, specialising in the lives of 20th Century political women. As a public historian, she has appeared on programmes such as the One Show, Who Do You Think You Are, Edwardian Britain in Colour, Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, as well as BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings and Great Lives.

Helen says: “I was so inspired firstly by Womanchester and then, as a result, Hazel Reeves’ wonderful sculpture of Our Emmeline. For me, of course, each of the women and more would have a statue in Manchester! So the fact that I am getting to share the stories of all these amazing women is fantastic. Each was ground-breaking in their own way and the impact of their collective contribution leaves a legacy that is felt by the world.”

Helen Antrobus

About the author

Andrew Simcock has been the Labour Councillor for Didsbury East on Manchester City Council since 2011. In 2014 he launched the Womanchester campaign to erect a statue of a woman of significance to Manchester, which resulted in the installation of Hazel Reeves’ Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St. Peter’s Square.

The unveiling coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women voting for the first time in the British General Election.

Andrew Simcock

First In The Fight

Upcoming book!

Book about Our Emmeline and Manchester’s radical women to be published Autumn 2019

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