‘Beautifully told, this book brings a fascinating and compelling story to a wider public. A “must read” for those interested in women’s lives in the past.’ June Purvis, Professor (Emerita) of Women’s and Gender History, University of Portsmouth, UK
‘This important and absorbing book presents a unique history of Kitty Marshall. This is first-class history and a first-rate thriller.’ Professor Clive Bloom, author of A History of Britain’s Fight for a RepublicKatherine ‘Kitty’ Marshall was destined to break with convention. Brought up in a socially active family, her inherent rebellious streak came into play in 1901, when she daringly divorced her husband and joined the newly founded Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), campaigning for women’s suffrage.
In 1904, she married solicitor Arthur Willoughby Marshall and the couple soon became a powerhouse team in the movement: Arthur defending the suffragettes in court while Kitty, trained in jujitsu and a member of the WSPU’s elite team ‘the Bodyguard’, helped her close friend Mrs Pankhurst evade the clutches of the authorities under the infamous Cat and Mouse Act. All the while, Kitty was under the watchful eye of the Metropolitan Police, and in particular Detective Inspector Ralph Kitchener, who frequently encountered the Marshalls in his work trailing the suffragette ‘mice’.
Following events as they unfolded on both sides, Mrs Pankhurst’s Bodyguard is a gripping account of Kitty and Arthur’s incredible work and their fight for political equality.