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  • Published: 15 January 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784161620
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $32.99

Hearts And Minds

The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote

'A history book that should be read by all' Stylist. The astonishing, uplifting story of the women's march on London in 1913, one of the most significant but neglected episodes in C20 history.

'A history book that should be read by all' - Stylist.
Set against the background of the campaign for women to win the vote, this is a story of the ordinary people effecting extraordinary change.

1913: the last long summer before the war. The country is gripped by suffragette fever. These impassioned crusaders have their admirers; some agree with their aims if not their forceful methods, while others are aghast at the thought of giving any female a vote.

Meanwhile, hundreds of women are stepping out on to the streets of Britain. They are the suffragists: non-militant campaigners for the vote, on an astonishing six-week protest march they call the Great Pilgrimage. Rich and poor, young and old, they defy convention, risking jobs, family relationships and even their lives to persuade the country to listen to them.

Fresh and original, full of vivid detail and moments of high drama, Hearts and Minds is both funny and incredibly moving, important and wonderfully entertaining.

  • Published: 15 January 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784161620
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Jane Robinson

Jane Robinson is also the author of Hearts and Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Piligrimage and How Women Won the Vote and Bluestockings: the Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education. She was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Yorkshire before going to Oxford University to study English Language and Literature at Somerville College. She has worked in the antiquarian book trade and as an archivist and is now a full-time writer and lecturer, specialising in social history through women's eyes. She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, member of the Society of Authors, and founder member of Writers in Oxford. She is married with two sons and lives in Buckinghamshire. Ladies Can't Climb Ladders is her eleventh book.

Also by Jane Robinson

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Praise for Hearts And Minds

A great read, painstakingly researched. Takes the reader into the lives of ordinary women and reveals at once their bright optimism and the stamina they showed - reluctantly leaving their children in the care of others, tramping miles in impractical clothes and braving the assaults of their detractors. I doubt protestors today often have to draw on such wells of sheer physical grit!

Clarissa Farr, recent head of St Paul's Girls School

A timely and wonderfully told story. Robinson skilfully and sensitively details the inspirational efforts made by ordinary people to secure the vote for women. This is an important new account that deserves a wide readership.’

Rhiannon Wilkinson, Headmistress, Wycombe Abbey School

Editor's Choice (History). Engrossing and impressively detailed.

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

This book brings to life a seminal period in the history of British women. Jane Robinson has unearthed the stories of scores of women from all classes and all parts of the country, and shows how they were prepared to suffer privation and insult in the pursuit of justice. Her vibrant account is always moving and sometimes hilarious. A lovely book and a great read.

Dr Alice Prochaska D.Phil, FRHistS, formerly Principal of Somerville College

Hearts and Minds by Jane Robinson is a brilliant, witty and moving account of women’s battle to win the vote. There were two key movements: the Suffragettes, prepared to suffer for their cause, including forced feeding and imprisonment, and the Suffragists, devoted to Constitutional action and unwilling to use violence. The book tells the story, still little unknown, of the successful crusade of the Suffragists who walked to London from all over England and from all sections of society. That story is the account of the ‘Great Pilgrimage’ of 1913, a key element in the finally successful of the cause of women’s suffrage.

Shirley Williams, the Rt Hon the Baroness Williams of Crosby

A fascinating new perspective on the historic struggle for women’s votes.

Margaret Jay, The Rt Hon the Baroness Jay of Paddington

A fine and sometimes moving account of the struggle for suffrage.

Anthony Quinn, Mail on Sunday

This entertaining and very human account of the Suffragettes' politically charged summer of 1913 is mandatory reading.

The Reading Room, Emerald Street

Hearts and Minds, with its coverage of both suffragist and suffragette, is a lively, informative book that many will enjoy reading.

June Purvis, BBC History Magazine

Robinson's brilliant book - full of anecdote, meticulous historical research and wonderful images - tells the story of the Great Pilgrimage, 1913. All the famous figures are here . . . but she also tells the stories of ordinary women: of teachers and pit girls, duchesses and fishwives, all who persuaded the country and Parliament to listen to them, and transformed the lives of women, politically and personally.

Simple Things

Extremely well-researched and highly readable. Robinson peppers her points with insightful first-hand accounts.

Laura Noakes, The Portia Post

BOOK OF THE WEEK: The war between the sisters: Smashed windows, lobbed bombs, a fascinating book casts new light on the bitter rivalry between the women who fought for the vote.

Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Daily Mail

An excellent account of the suffragist movement.

Lucy Lethbridge, Financial Times

A story of huge courage and, most of all, immense female camaraderie...meticulously researched... a fascinating and inspiring read

Hannah Beckman, Sunday Express

Inspiring and moving


An eye-opening story, immaculately researched and full of fascinating detail.

CHOICE magazine

*****Five Stars! Hearts and Minds brings the voices of the suffragists to life in a compelling, entertaining and poignant collection of accounts. It’s a history book that should be read by all as we celebrate the centenary of the vote and continue the fight for equality. Meticulously researched yet never dull, it breathes life into a little-known corner of history


A welcome fresh look at the constitutional campaign for women's suffrage.

Wendy Moore, Literary Review

Anecdotal and rich in detail, Robinson’s account moves effortlessly from suffragist to suffragist, using letters, journals and autobiographies to bring personal histories to life. It’s clearly a passion project for Robinson and she manages to hold a fresh lens to this otherwise well-documented portion of history.


Hearts and Minds makes it very plain why Mrs Fawcett deserves her statue in Parliament Square. Robinson has researched the lives of ordinary suffragists as well as the stars of the movement, and her book is clear-headed, perceptive and thoroughly engaging. From her narrative it's clear also how important Mrs Pankhurst was in bringing passion, anger and publicity to the women's cause. I think she deserves a statue too.


That six-week effort, in which rivulets of backpack-toting, banner-carrying suffragists, skirts a daring four inches above the ground, marched from every corner of England and Wales to gather for a mass meeting in London in late July, has never been thoroughly documented. It is nice to see it feature centrally here.

Susan Pedersen, London Review of Books

Hearts And Minds is a timely reminder of the courage of these unsung campaigners

Daily Mail

Hearts And Minds is a timely reminder of the courage of these unsung campaigners

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail