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The Century Girls: The Final Word from the Women Who've Lived the Past Hundred Years of British History (Hardback)
  • The Century Girls: The Final Word from the Women Who've Lived the Past Hundred Years of British History (Hardback)

The Century Girls: The Final Word from the Women Who've Lived the Past Hundred Years of British History (Hardback)

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Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 22/02/2018
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Giving insight into life for women over the last hundred years like never before, The Century Girls is an eye-opening window into how the seismic political and social changes of the last century have fundamentally changed ordinary women’s lives. From the women’s suffrage movement and gaining the vote, to the aftermath of the Second World War, the Thatcher era and beyond, this is a unique social history delivered through the personal testimony of six ordinary women who saw the century unfurl. 

A celebration of the one-hundred years since British women got the vote, told, in their own voices, by six centenarians: Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls.

In 2018, Britain celebrates the centenary of women getting the vote. During the intervening ten decades the lives of women in this country have been transformed beyond recognition. Told in their own voices, The Century Girls celebrates six centenarians who lived that change: what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. With stories that are intimately knitted into the history of these islands, The Century Girls is a time-travel adventure featuring some of society's oldest witnesses.

In 1918 the Suffragettes famously blazed the trail for women, this book reveals what came next for girls growing up in twentieth century Great Britain, whether they resided in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland; whether they were housewives, or in the workplace; from the city, the countryside, or coming to the British Isles from the one of the Commonwealth countries.

The narrative travels through the experiences of some key figures who are now themselves well over a hundred years old: Joyce from Cambridge; Ann from Richmond; Edna from Wroughton; Olive from Archway, London; Phyllis from Edinburgh; and finally, Helena from Brecon. Through the prism of their own experiences and memories, it tells the human story of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in the modern world of post-Great War Britain, by re-telling what their actual day-to-day reality was like, through the decades.

100 YEARS, 100 BOOKS:


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN: 9781471161322
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 26 mm

'Tessa Dunlop made pains to select women from broad walks of life and succeeds in weaving a rich tapestry of experiences. Dunlop is playful and probing in her questioning, covering everything from sex and relationships to feminism - and it's clear she formed a lasting friendship with each of the women they interviewed.' * The Independent *
'It's a brilliant book... It's fantastic!' -- Chris Evans, Radio 2 Breakfast Show
'A delightful book . . . all about women and women's lives.' -- Jane Garvey, Radio 4 Woman's Hour
'It features among others my teacher and mate, 99 year old Joyce Reynolds, going super strong and still a stern and helpful critic.' -- Mary Beard
`A deeply personal and moving account of the last 100 years of British history.' * The Bookseller *
`A warm-hearted and engaging read, The Century Girls is replete with wonderful characters.' * Sunday Express *
'The book offers a highly personal insight into British society over the past century... The frank, probing style of Dunlop's interview technique allows us access to a series of revealing and enlightening stories which would otherwise have been lost... Dunlop manages to capture these unique personalities in her book with a touching intimacy that never strays into sentimentality.' * The Scotsman *
'Tessa Dunlop has found a uniquely personal touch... Dunlop has pulled off an impressive feat of oral history, weaving the women's memories of their long lives into a coherent narrative and setting it in the context of events at the time... They recount their memories in incredible detail, creating a moving portrait of a world that is now lost forever. If you have older female relatives this book will inspire you to capture their stories.' * Who Do You Think You Are? *
`This year is the centenary of women getting the vote in Britain... Tessa Dunlop has had one of those ideas that belong firmly in the `simple-but-brilliant' category: speaking to six women who've been alive for all those hundred years... The result is a wonderful blend of British history with individual stories - and for any reader under about 90, an often startling reminder of how much things have changed.' * Reader's Digest *
`What better way to mark the centenary of some British women getting the vote than to read about inspirational women who witness revolutionary changes? Six centenarians reminisce on their incredible century. A history lesson to savour.' * The Lady *

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