The Suffragette and the Soldier, by Katharine O’ Flynn
The Suffragette and the Soldier is “a beautifully written and carefully researched novel.” The writing shows “a subtle grasp of human behaviour in both its folly and its wisdom.”
~ Claire Holden Rothman, author of The Heart Specialist, nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
1911. May Jones, pampered socialite from Birmingham, turns militant suffragette and takes to breaking windows, burning buildings, and harassing politicians in order to draw attention to the unjust position of women in British society.
1914. Tom Evans, aspiring Welsh bard with a day job as clerk in the London Customs House, volunteers as a soldier in the Great War.
These two unlikely warriors meet in Wales and fall in love. It is a love fraught with uncertainties, for May has vowed chastity until women have the vote, and Tom too has reasons for avoiding union. Though war tears them apart, their unorthodox courtship, fired by poetry, promises, and political debate, continues through letters and occasional meetings as they seek a way to be together always.
Based on real characters and events, Katharine O’Flynn’s The Suffragette and the Soldier shows a young woman in a changing society awakening to new roles and opportunities for women and to the hope of building a more loving respect between the sexes.