Jill Liddington is a writer and historian. Her latest book, Vanishing for the Vote, will be published by Manchester University Press in March 2014.
She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, a member of the Society of Authors and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She lives in Mytholmroyd near Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Vanishing for the Vote
In spring 1911 suffragettes invited women to boycott the census. Vanishing for the Vote: suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census tells the story of what happened on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911.
The Liberal government demanded everyone comply with its census requirements. Suffragette organizations urged women, all still voteless, to boycott this census. Many did. Some wrote ‘No Vote, No Census’ boldly across their schedules. Others spent the night in darkened houses. Emily Wilding Davison, hidden in a cupboard within the Houses of Parliament, remains the most celebrated of these census evaders.
Yet many did not. Even some suffragettes who might be expected to boycott decided to comply with the census. Why? What made some committed campaigners decide against civil disobedience tactics, instead opting to provide the government with accurate data for its health and welfare reforms?
Vanishing for the Vote explores the ‘battle for the census’ arguments that raged across Edwardian England in spring 1911, and is based upon a wealth of brand-new documentary evidence.
Jill Liddington has researched and written on Votes for Women since the 1970s, when she first visited the Fawcett Library (now Women’s Library). She is co-author of One Hand Tied Behind Us (Virago Press 1978, 1984 and 2000) which quickly became a suffrage classic. The Long Road to Greenham (Virago 1989) won the 1990 Fawcett Book Prize. .
Her most recent suffrage history, Rebel Girls: their fight for the vote (Virago 2006) was shortlisted for the 2008 Portico Book Prize.
Jill Liddington contributed to the documentary, Revealing Anne Lister (BBC2 2010). She is author of Female Fortune: the Anne Lister diaries (1998) and of Presenting the Past: Annie Lister of Halifax 1791-1840 (1994, 2010).