Campaigning For The Vote: Kate Frye

Kate Frye coverCampaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary is published by Francis Boutle Publishers

Wrap-around paper covers, 226 pp, over 70 illustrations, all drawn from Kate Frye’s personal archive.

ISBN 978 1903427 75 0

For a full description of the book click here

Copies available from Francis Boutle Publishers, or from Elizabeth Crawford –  (£14.99 +UK postage £3. Please ask for international postage cost), or from all good bookshops. 

Here is Kate. When this photograph was taken she was working as a paid organiser for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. I have edited her diaries for the years 1911-1915 as a record of one woman’s experience of the suffrage campaign. I believe that no other source allows us to experience in such detail and over such a length of time the day-to-day existence of a working suffragist.

Faced with an overwhelming amount of material, I decided to limit this ‘suffrage’ edition of Kate’s voluminous diary to her activities  as a paid organiser for the NCSWS. It has, therefore, been necessary to omit many splendid descriptions of suffrage meetings and suffrage-related activities from the days when she had the luxury of giving her services freely to the suffrage cause.

I intend to include extracts from the years previous to 1911 as posts on ‘Woman and Her Sphere’. They will often be illustrated with leaflets that she acquired at suffrage meetings and placed between the pages of her diary.

ITV has selected Kate Frye – to be portrayed by a leading young actress – as one of the main characters in a 2014 documentary series to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Kate herself was devoted to the theatre – and in later life radio and television – and wrote numerous plays, all but one, alas, unpublished.  She trained as an actress, touring for a while with repertory companies around the towns of Edwardian Britain.  How pleased she  would be at the knowledge that 100 years later she will, at last, reach a mass audience.

For the moment, at least, I own Kate Frye’s archive – her diaries and all associated ephemera.

You can listen here to a talk I gave in the House of Commons – ‘Campaigning for the Vote: From MP’s Daughter to Suffrage Organiser: the diary of Kate Parry Frye’.

For all posts on Kate Frye’s Suffrage Diary click here

  1. #1 by Emme on January 8, 2014 - 10:33 pm

    Hi my name is Emme. I am doing a project and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions that would be great. if not, totally fine.

    • #2 by womanandhersphere on January 9, 2014 - 9:00 am

      Emme ~ feel free to ask any questions. And I’ll try to answer them!

  2. #3 by Esther Ng on February 25, 2015 - 3:26 am

    Dear Ms. Elizabeth Crawford,

    I am a student who has just begun a research project on how influential the Suffragette Movement/First World War was in helping Britain’s women gain the vote. I am quite overwhelmed by the number of books available on this topic. Is there a good place to start? Could you recommend some good books on this topic?

    Thank you for reading this!



    • #4 by womanandhersphere on February 26, 2015 - 10:09 am

      Esther ~ I’m afraid I am not going to give a very helpful reply – because the whole point of your research project (at whatever level of education you are at) is that you should select evidence for yourself and present it to sustain an argument. As you say, much has been written on this topic which only goes to show that there is no one clear answer to the question. You must make your own judgement. If you really require further help you should discuss with your teacher/tutor.

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