Book Review: “My Own Story” (1914) by Emmeline Pankhurst

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Anti-suffrage cartoon.

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Until recently, you would not have been able to find this memoir in your local bookstore – you would have had to resort to either a specialised publisher or Project Gutenberg. It still doesn’t have a cover art picture on Goodreads, that’s how little this book is read these days. However, I have eight magic words for you that kicked it right back into the public eye: “Now The Subject of a Major Motion Picture.” Thank you, Suffragette (2015). Republished under the title Suffragette: My Own Story, this autobiography chronicles the first steps of the British suffrage movement from approximately 1900 until the beginning of the First World War, when the activists decided to temporarily lay down their arms.

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Book Review: “More Fool Me” (2014) by Stephen Fry

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“More Fool Me” book cover.

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When I was a young girl (she said, at the ripe age of 26), Stephen Fry was my hero. He was intelligent, funny, eloquent, charming, talented, well-travelled, well-connected, and well-read – everything I wanted to be. Like a lot of people, I put him up on a pedestal and idolised him. His first memoir, Moab Is My Washpot, brought him back down to earth for me. In this book, he talked about his fears and insecurities, and it helped me see him for what he truly was: just a man. He wrote about his first love, feeling like an outsider, his criminal record, and his eventual suicide attempt in a way that felt deeply, deeply personal and honest. It took the halo away for good, but if anything, I liked him even more now that he was vulnerable and flawed. Even Stephen “Britain’s National Treasure” Fry is wrecked by insecurities. Read more