In the final episode of her story of British women's fight for power, the historian Amanda Vickery explores how the Edwardian suffragette movement became a quasi-terrorist organisation. She asks what they achieved with their violent campaign and argues they are best understood as part of a war still going on today.
Vickery brings to life the enemies of female suffrage too, from the golfing prime minister Herbert Asquith, who had nightmares of being stripped naked by angry suffragettes, to the furious anti-suffrage societies and their mass meetings in the Royal Albert Hall. She describes the political skulduggery to stop women getting the vote and the increasing extremism of the suffragettes in response.
So what did the suffragettes achieve? Vickery describes the political backroom deal that finally allowed some women the vote, the abusive treatment of the first female MP Lady Astor and the misogynistic backlash of the 1920s, revealed through attitudes to a great women's football team.
The series concludes by looking ahead, 50 years after women won the vote, to Margaret Thatcher. Was her election a sign that the suffragette dream had been fulfilled, or is this a fight that is still going on today
Historian Amanda Vickery uncovers the 300 year-long campaign by women for political and sex equality in Britain, revealing the largely forgotten heroines (and a few heroes) who fought for the cause.