Helen Antrobus & Andrew Simcock: First In The Fight: 20 Women Who Made Manchester

Today I have something a little bit different on Portable Magic. I’m taking part in the blog tour for First In The Fight: 20 Women Who Made Manchester. My review is written with thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me on the tour and for my copy of the book via the publisher.


Emmeline Pankhurst stands proudly in St Peter’s Square, but she stands for so many more… From the women who marched to St Peter’s Fields flying the flag for reform to the first entrepreneurs, the women of Greater Manchester have long stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight for equality and social change. For the centenary of some women being able to vote in 2018, the journey began for a statue to be erected, symbolising the incredible lives and achievements of Manchester’s radical women. Glimpse at the lives of the twenty women who were long-listed in the campaign, who all made Manchester first in the fight for freedom, and feminism.


Although First In The Fight: 20 Women Who Made Manchester is very different to what I would normally read, I really enjoyed reading about the shortlisted subjects of the statue which commemorated the centenary of women being given the right to vote. Some of the nominees are very well known, but some have been overshadowed in time. Their lives have been impeccably researched and their stories are truly inspiring.

The biographical chapters are accompanied by quirky illustrations which help to convey the messages of the women. They are simply stunning and I loved every one.

There is also an account of Andrew Simcock’s journey from the initial idea of the statue to making sure it was erected without a hitch. The work that went into this from fundraising to designing and more represents an absolutely phenomenal effort and I was fascinated by the journey.

First In The Fight: 20 Women Who Made Manchester is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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