iPlayer Radio What's New?
Jessie Kesson Short Stories - 3. Until Such Times
Image for Women's Rebellion

Listen now 15 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Women's Rebellion

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 11 June 2013

The one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World war looms on the horizon. 1914 is a date forged into the British consciousness, just as it's carved into monuments the length and breadth of the UK and many places beyond. With that awareness comes an understanding that it was the war to end all wars, shocking the culture, politics, and societies of Europe, but particularly Britain, out of their comfortable progress and reshaping everything.
But in this series Michael Portillo challenges that notion. Looking at a series of themes, the suffrage movement, the Irish question, the decline of the liberal party and the arts, he argues that to a large extent Britain was already in a state of flux by 1913 and many of the developments we think of as emanating from or being catalysed by the war, were actually in full flow.

The second programme in the series explores the depth and urgency of the campaign for women's votes. The limited postwar gift of women's suffrage has been read as a reward for the role women played in the war effort, with the pre-war years more celebrated for 'spectacular' and violent suffrage events. With the help of historian Elizabeth Crawford Michael reveals that the suffrage campaign was far more than a series of arson attacks, hunger strikes and the famous sacrifice of Emily Davison.

Producer: Tom Alban.



  1. Image for 1913: The Year Before

    1913: The Year Before

    The forgotten history of Britain before the First World War, with Michael Portillo.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss