Books by Diane Atkinson

Cover

Publisher
Random House

ISBN
978-1-84809-301-0

Distibution
Date of publication:
5 July 2012

To pre order please go to: www.rhbooks.co.uk




 















The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton

On trial is Caroline Sheridan, a beautiful and clever young woman who had been manoeuvred into marrying the Honourable George Norton when she was just nineteen. Ten years older, he is a dull, violent and controlling lawyer but Caroline is determined not to be a traditional wife. By her early twenties, Caroline has become a respected poet and songwriter, clever mimic and outrageous flirt. Her beauty and wit attract many male admirers, including the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. After years of simmering jealousy, Norton accuses Caroline and the Prime Minister of a 'criminal conversation' (adultery) precipitating 'the scandal of the century'. In Westminster Hall that day is a young Charles Dickens, who would, just a few months later, fictionalise the even as 'Bardell v. Pickwick' in The Pickwick Papers. After a trial lasting twelve hours, the jury's not guilty verdict is immediate, unanimous and sensational. Norton is a laughing stock. Angry and humiliated he cuts Caroline off, as was his right under the law, refuses to let her see their three sons, seizes her manuscripts and letters, her clothes and jewels, and leaves her destitute.

letterhead

The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton is the extraordinary story of one woman's fight for the rights of women everywhere.

For thirty years Caroline campaigned for women and battled male-dominated Victorian society, helping to write the Infant Custody Act (1839), and influenced the Matrimonial Causes (Divorce) Act (1857) and the Married Women's Property Act (1870), which gave women a separate legal identity for the first time.

letterhead

To read an extract from this book, please go toWRITINGS

 

paperback



Elsie and Mairi Go to War:
Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front

Paperback edition

Publisher
Random House

ISBN
978-1-84809-135-1

Distribution
Date of publication:
4 February 2010

To order please go to: www.rhbooks.co.uk

Elsie and Mairi

Publisher
Random House

ISBN
978-1-84809-133-7

Distribution
Date of publication:
9 July 2009

To order please go to: www.rhbooks.co.uk





Elsie and Mairi Go to War:
Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front

Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm were the two most famous women of the First World War. They met at a motorcycle club in Bournemouth, and when war broke out they roared off to London 'to do their bit'.

Within a month they were on the Western Front and had set up their own first-aid post a hundred yards from the villiage of Pervyse, near Ypres.

News of their courage and expertise spread back to Britain and the 'Angels of Pervyse' became famous. Journalists and photographers told their story, royals and VIPs visited them.

Elsie and Mairi were decorated with seventeen medals for bravery and self-sacrifice. It was the time of their lives, they were at the height of their looks and powers, but adjusting to peacetime life after four extraordinary years was more challenging for them than the war itself.

To read an extract from this book, please go to
WRITINGS

 

Love and Dirt

Publisher
Macmillan

ISBN
0-333-78071-X

Distribution
Please refer to
LINKS

 

 

 

 

Love & Dirt:
The Marriage of Arthur Munby & Hannah Cullwick

On 26 May 1854 Arthur Munby met Hannah Cullwick, the day after her twenty-first birthday. This encounter marked the beginning of a bizarre and sometimes desparately unhappy relationship, yet one which was to endure for more than fifty years.

In many ways Munby typified the cultured Victorian gentleman: a barrister, he was also a published poet and a friend to writers and artists such as R.D. Blackmore and Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Yet he had a fascination with working women, noting down encounters he had with shop girls and rag-pickers, with milliners and maids and sometimes with prostitutes. He collected stories of their lives and struck up affectionate friendships with them. It was in this spirit that he first approached the woman who was to become his wife; but Hannah was to be more to him than simply a story in a notebook or a photograph in an album. A scullery maid from Shropshire, Hannah was literate, intelligent though largely unschooled, strong, graceful and passionate. Their relationship quickly developed into a remarkable but clandestine love affair, an affair charaterised by their mutual obsession - Munby adored to watch Hannah going about her work 'in her dirt' fromscrubbing steps and cleaning chimneys, and she reciprocated with a literally slavish devotion. Drawing on the diaries and letters that both wrote throughout their long relationship, Diane Atkinson paints a picture of the wider shores of Victorian sexuality.

To read an extract from this book, please go to WRITINGS

 

Funny Girls

Publisher
Penguin

ISBN
0-14-026699-2

Distribution
Please refer to
LINKS




Funny Girls:
Cartooning for Equality

A brilliantly witty collection of cartoon's, Funny Girls also gives a
fascinating insight into the way the popular press has recorded the battle
for equality. Whether sympathetic or outraged, the cartoonist's eye has translated the political argument for equal rights, equal pay and help with balancing career and children into the language of laughter.

Many of the best-known names in cartonning are represented here. Punch artists such as John Leech are joined by well-known newspaper cartoonists such as Osbert Lancaster, Giles and Mel Calman. The tables are turned on these often reactionary lampoonists by brilliant women cartoonists like
Posy Simmons, Jacky Flemming, Paula Youens and Christine Roche.

Funny Girls is a serious yet wonderfully comic commentry celebrating
130 years of Fawcett campaigning for gender equality.


Suffragettes in Colour

Publisher
Museum of London

ISBN
0-7509-1017-8

Distribution
Please refer to
LINKS






 

The Suffragettes in Pictures

This book draws extensively on the little known but important Suffragette Fellowship Collection of archive photographs, newspapers, personal correspondence, artefacts and memoirs, to present a vivid picture of Suffragette life. The strength of the book is its rare images of the Suffragette campaign leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. The book also documents leading personalities in the Suffragette movement, such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Annie Kenney and Emily Wilding Davison, the behind-the-scenes activities at the Women's Social and Political Union, their public propaganda work, the brilliant set-piece demonstrations and the escalation of militancy from 'pestering the polititians' to burning down buildings and attacking works of art. The granting of the Vote in 1918 and 1928 is also discussed. An invaluable end-piece provides much sought-after information about the later careers of some of the women who fought in this dangerous and dramatic campaign.

Although there have been many books on the Suffragettes, surprisingly few photgraphs from this internationally important collection have been published. Sometimes comic, often moving, this meticulously researched and elegantly written book will provide an insight into the reality of the lives of these brave and bold Edwardian women.


Suffragettes

Publisher
Museum of London

ISBN
0-90481853-5

Distribution
Please refer to
LINKS

 

 

 

Suffragettes:
The Purple White & Green: London 1906-1914

'Purple stands for freedom and dignity,
White stands for purity in private and public life,
Green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring.'

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, 1908

The Women's Social and Political Union established a national headquarters in London's Strand in 1906. Within 18 months the movement's distinctive colours were being enthusiastically promoted by supporters. Members able to afford clothing, accessories and insignia bought and wore them with pride. The business world quickly became aware of the purchasing power of the middle-class suffragettes: supporters could buy Mappin & Webb jewelry; bicycles and tea sets bearing a logo designed by Sylvia Pankhurst; even cigarettes, soap, chocolate and birthday cakes, all bearing the slogan ' Votes for Women'.

This book examines the largely unrecognised merchandising and image building skills of the suffragettes, who turned fashion and consumerism to brilliant political advantage.


Votes for Women

Publisher
Cambridge University Press

ISBN
0-521-31044-X

Distribution
Please refer to
LINKS

 

 

 

Votes for Women

In 1918 women in Britain finally won the vote after a long and determined fight. Why did their struggle take over 50 years to succeed? Who supported and who opposed the demand fo Votes for Women?

Diane Atkinson looks at these questions and considers two very different campaigns in parallel: the battle waged by the militant Suffragettes; and the less well-known activities of the Suffragists.