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Meet... Lucienne Boyce

Lucienne Boyce is a Bristol-based author who writes historical fiction and non-fiction. She has published three historical novels set in the eighteenth century, and a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. Her website and blog are rich resources for suffragette information and Lucienne is collecting personal stories from people with suffragettes in their family - if you have one of those do get in touch and contribute to this collection of social history.

Q. What prompted you to write 'The Bristol Suffragettes'?

I became interested in the history of the women’s suffrage movement when I lived in London but like many people, I had the impression that was where it all happened. However, a few years later I moved to Bristol and was rummaging though a postcard stall in St Nicholas Market when I came across a photograph of a group of local women standing under a suffrage banner. That was when I realised that the movement was not just in the capital, but all over the country. From then I was hooked on finding out about Bristol’s suffrage history. Of course, nowadays we are all much more aware of the local aspects of the movement and lots of people are doing fantastic work on local history.

Q: What activities are you involved with  / looking forward to this year which celebrate the Centenary?

Goodness, where to start! I’ve done more talks than I can keep count of, as well as radio and television interviews, with lots more events coming up. I’m also in the middle of a fund raising campaign for a Blue Plaque at the house where Bristol’s first women’s suffrage society was founded, with the generous permission and support of the owner. [Click here for more info and to donate].

But the biggest thing on my horizon is a day of commemorative events I’m organising and participating in with the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network – I’m a member of the steering committee -  at Bristol MShed on Saturday 30 June. There will be talks, a walk, the showing of the film Make More Noise: Suffragettes in Silent Film, the performance of Cicely Hamilton’s 1910 comedy How the Vote Was Won, a panel event looking at what the vote has achieved and what has yet to be achieved, and much more! The WESWWHN is working in partnership with Bristol MShed, Bristol Libraries, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England – and there’s more information at https://www.lucienneboyce.com/diary/

Frustratingly, though, with all this going on I haven’t got as much time as I’d like to spend on the biography I’m writing of suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne, so I’m looking forward to being able to get on with that when the commemoration’s out of the way.

Q: Picking up on the aims of the Suffragettes - what are your hopes for the future in  terms of women's rights?

Well, I think we are all aware that many of the issues the suffrage campaigners were concerned about – equal opportunities, equal pay, better health care provision and so on – are still a long way from full achievement. But if I had to pick one goal pursued by many suffrage campaigners – women like Emmeline Pethick Lawrence or Mabel Tothill, both of Bristol, who were involved in the founding of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – it would be peace work. Inequality is at the root of conflict – so my hope for the future is that we will do away with inequality to arrive at a just and peaceful world.

If you would like to buy Lucienne's book The Bristol Suffragettes - it's available at all the big stores (Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles) or you can order a signed copy directly from the author (which is what I would do if I hadn't bought one in a hurry because I needed the map for my Bristol walk).

Links:

www.lucienneboyce.com

Twitter: @LucienneWrite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucienneWriter
Blog: http://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce

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