Sally Heathcote: Suffragette by Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot

Book Review by Rosie Hopegood | 01 May 2014
  • Sally Heathcote
Book title: Sally Heathcote: Suffragette
Author: Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot

The latest venture from Costa Award-winning scholar and graphic novelist duo Mary and Bryan Talbot, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is a fast-paced romp through Edwardian Britain. As notable for its historical accuracy as it is for its engrossing storyline, this is the sort of book you’ll wish you’d read at school. The eponymous protagonist may be fictional, but many of the other characters are certainly not – all the crucial figures from the women's suffrage movement are neatly woven into the plot: Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, the Pankhursts and Millicent Fawcett are all brought vividly to life in a tale of violence, loyalty and courage.

Kate Charlesworth’s stylistically unconventional illustrations ensure that an already great novel becomes extraordinary. Drawing predominantly in monochrome, Charlesworth uses a few splashes of colour in key places – a bright spray of blood, Sally’s instantly recognisable red hair, the lilac and green of the suffragette’s badges – to cleverly guide the reader’s eye.

Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is a graphic novel for people who don’t like graphic novels, and a history book for people who don’t like history. Read it.

 

Out now, published by Jonathan Cape, RRP £16.99