Society has never known what to do with its rebellious women. Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HMP Holloway, the self-proclaimed ‘terror to evil-doers’ which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe’s largest women’s prison.

First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway’s women have come from all corners of the UK – … More

In February 1900 a group of men representing trade unionists, socialists, Fabians & Marxists gathered in London to make another attempt at establishing an organisation capable of getting working-class men elected to Parliament. The body they set up was the Labour Representation Committee; 6 years later when 29 of its candidates were elected to the House of Commons it changed its name to the Labour Party. No women took part in that first meeting, but several watched from the public gallery.

Throughout Labour’s history, even in its earliest years, women were present in the room, but they were not always recorded … More

Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military.

While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal … More