The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb

The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb* – Britain’s Forgotten Terrorists – is a book on a controversial topic. It’s not the first book by Webb in which he tackles the idea of the link between women’s suffrage and the militant actions of the suffragettes, but it is focused on their attacks, which is fascinating. In this book he touches on their views and gives  accounts written by the suffragettes themselves, in their books or from their speeches.

The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb

It was interesting to read the book. I only wish he made a list at the end with all the bombs and arson attacks by the suffragettes. In an age where people discuss which statues should be still up and commemorated, I think the real story of the suffragettes should be presented clearly, not the whitewashing that happened ever since. In my view, it would be better to commemorate women like Millicent Fawcett instead of Emmeline Pankhurst.

I learned a lot of things from this book and the recount of terrorist attacks in the 19th century was fascinating too, including the mention of a Frenchman who wanted to blow up the Royal Observatory… with rather gruesome consequences for himself. Webb’s view is that the suffragettes hindered the female suffrage due to their attacks and I have to agree. I am puzzled why anybody would think women are proving their ability to be objective and to be prepared to take on the burden of voting by smashing windows and blowing up things.

The current narrative is that British women should thank Emmeline Pankhurst for their vote, a woman celebrated in many books, including ones for children. That wouldn’t be a problem if the whole story was described, including these details included in Webb’s book. This is why I highly recommend this book.

The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen and Sword
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – 20th Century
Pages: 208

About the author: Simon Webb is the author of a number of non-fiction books, ranging from academic works on education to popular history. He works as a consultant on the subject of capital punishment to television companies and filmmakers and also writes for various magazines and newspapers; including the Times Educational Supplement, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
Books by him: Forgotten Slave Trade; The Analogue Revolution; Post-War Childhood; 1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution; A History of Torture in Britain; British Concentration Camps; First World War Trials and Executions; Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers; Suffragette Fascists; The Suffragette Bombers.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “The Suffragette Bombers by Simon Webb”

  • I agree with both previous comments by yourself and FictionFan about the ends never justifying the means when it comes to terrorism. I’m afraid I am pretty much of the same view about most of the ‘peaceful protests’ these days, which are really far from that when you actually get down to the organisers and their alternative agendas and crowd agitation techniques! You have to go no further than the CND and ‘ban the bomb’ protests of the 1970s /1980s. You can’t change history and destroying all vestiges of our past won’t change anything. We need to set the story straight with the truth, so that we can educate our young and change our ways going forward. Another book which would probably serve to make me very angry if I were to read it! 🙂

    • I think it’s telling that the statues were taken down in Bristol and there was the most violence yesterday. It shows that these people (the ones who did that, not all, obviously) are not following an ideology or their freedoms, but are thugs.

  • It is fascinating how these acts of terror have been presented in a positive light for decades. At school, I was definitely led to think of these women as heroes, and I was well into adulthood (and in the midst of the IRA bombing campaigns) before I began to think critically about their willingness to kill, maim and damage. People often quote the old cliché about one man’s terrorist being another man’s freedom fighter, but I fear that I’ve stopped seeing much justification for violence, except perhaps as a defence against an immediate threat of violence. It’s too easy to think that one’s own cause somehow justifies behaviour one would condemn in others…

    • I found exactly this fascinating. Before moving to UK 10 years ago I didn’t know much about IRA and the suffragettes, as before I read about the Tudors and Regency novels. So I was puzzled that some were considered terrorists while others were heroines when both did the same thing.
      I agree with you on terrorism, violence is not justifiable unless to defend or protect.

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