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You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  25 reviews
FOR the ten years from 1902, when Australia’s suffrage campaigners won the vote for white women, the world looked to this trailblazing young democracy for inspiration.

Clare Wright’s epic new history tells the story of that victory—and of Australia’s role in the subsequent international struggle—through the eyes of five remarkable players: the redoubtable Vida Goldstein, t
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 2018 by Text Publishing
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Bri Lee
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the size and heavy cover of this book scare you off! Wright is rightfully famous for telling historical stories in the primary-source voices of those actually present, and this book is a fast and fascinating look at white women getting the vote in Australia. I learned so much and appreciated Wright tackling both the highs (triumph!) and lows (racism!) of the suffrage movement in Australia which made this country famous for several years for having the most advanced version of democracy ...more
Michael Livingston
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A painstakingly thorough history of the Australian women who pushed for the vote for (white) women in Australia and then took up the battle in the UK. It's thorough and rich in detail, but superbly readable - Wright knows how to tell a story. She has a rich cast of characters to help her - Vida Goldstein in particular should be a household name in Australia, but Dora Montfiore and Muriel Matters are unforgettable as well.

I was surprised how much of the book focussed on the UK struggles - Edith
Text Publishing
‘Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is the uplifting story of a time Australia led the world in including women in our democratic project. It is a reminder of our proud legacy and a clarion call for who we can be.’
Penny Wong

‘The essential story of our greatest reformers, and one of our proudest achievements as a nation.’
George Megalogenis

‘One of the country’s most accomplished story-tellers relates Australian women’s fight for the vote in all of its passion, intensity and drama.’
Frank Bo
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auslit
This is the kind of history text I wish someone had put in my hands growing up! It is passionate and articulate, thoroughly researched, and brought to life by the engaging tone it is written with (and the flair with which the author narrates the audiobook version!). I immediately was impressed at how self-aware the text was, noting that while this is an important history and the women involved were the key players in the suffrage movement, that their efforts were largely for the benefit of, and ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘The Australians who won the vote and inspired the world.’

I read and enjoyed Clare Wright’s ‘The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka’ in 2014, and while I’m not sure how I missed this book when it was first released last October, I was delighted to read an electronic copy of the 2019 edition.

In 1902, when one of my grandmothers was a Tasmanian child of 9, Australia’s suffrage campaigners won the vote for white women. Her first opportunity to vote would have been on 5 September 1914: which was called befo
Bonnye Reed
Sep 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
pub date Sept 19, 2019
Text Publishing
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The amazing thing about reading Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is the switch from reading the wholly unfamiliar story of Australia’s history of suffrage to the familiar story of English suffragettes in Part III. How has this happened? How come we all know the story of the English suffragettes, but we don’t know about the Australian women (and men) who led the world into modern democracy with votes for women??
Well IMO there are two answers to that and only one of them is that until compa
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This splendid book was sent to me by the publisher, Text, at no cost. It's out at the start of October.

Firstly, this is a hefty tome: it's 550 pages. But the text itself is only (?) 480 pages, and it must be stressed that this is an immensely readable book with generally short chapters that make the story very readable. So don't let the size put you off if this is a part of history that appeals to you. 

If you know nothing about women achieving the vote in Australia or elsewhere, this is an excel
Natasha (jouljet)
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, a huge part of Australian feminist and political history that I knew so little about. This is an empowering and incredible read of the efforts of five key womemn in their fight for Votes For Wimen both in Australia and worldwide, but specifically in the UK.

Wright has been upfront throughout this volume that the suffrage movement won the votes for white women, and is mindful of Australia's ongoing oppression of Aboriginal Australia.

Names associated with suffragettes and suffragists worldwide
This is unquestionably popular narrative history done well, with Wright focusing on the Australians prominent in the thrilling fight for British suffrage, rather than the process in Australia. Wright seeks to remind Australians that before ANZAC, Australia also saw itself as an influencer on Britain, and the book's rather enthusiastic title is taken from this self-image.
The history was a little too much narrative, and lighter on analysis, than I tend to prefer. Wright's coverage gives a great se
Alan  Marr
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My appetite for this subject was whetted when I saw a preview of the musical "Sylvia" in London last year. It was the story of Sylvia Pankhurst and the struggle for women's right to vote. My daughter Julie gave me this book and I'm very glad she did. I now have a new cohort of heroes to add to me gallery. These women were courageous, creative and determined. ...and many of them were Australians. A great read.
Emily (em_isreading)
I learned so much from this book. Like who knew that it was Australia who led the way for the English suffragette movement? I didn’t. I just assumed they were happening alongside each other, with little (if any) collaboration between the two countries.

I’m proud of this history. I’m proud to be an Australian woman benefiting from the work and terror endured by these women who came before me.

What I really liked is that this book is accessible. If you don’t ordinarily read non-fiction or even his
Geoff Wooldridge
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Clare Wright, who is an Associate professor of History at La Trobe University in Melbourne, has the happy knack of making history, especially documenting the roles of women, fascinating, informative and highly readable.

I thoroughly enjoyed her previous book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, which is the first in a planned Democracy Trilogy, about the impacts of Australian women in world history.

And so it was again for You Daughters of Freedom, a detailed account of the roles of five remarkable Au
Jennifer Elliott
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A book for history buffs with a strong interest in Australian women on the international stage post Federation (1901).
I found it very detailed and interesting intially while Australia granted women the vote in the early chapters but once the focus shifted to England the strong direction of the story waned for me.
I did read it through ( it is also long with a very detailed bibliography) and appreciated the details and getting to know women who shaped our own country and the British system. I reco
Alyce Caswell
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book covers a very specialised aspect of Australian history - how our women achieved the vote and the international ripples that occurred from this. Wright does a fantastic job of chasing those ripples and then connecting them in a way that makes sense. Her often wry tone is what made this giant tome so easy to read.

I really do wish I'd known about these fantastic women earlier. And certainly no history class I ever had deigned to mention that Federation's very success hinged on suffrage.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clare Wright writes so wonderfully! And combined with this fascinating topic, the book is a real page-turner.
It is very very rare for me to allocate five stars to any book - usually reserved for the pantheon writers such as Jane Austen. I thought I knew a great deal about both British suffragettes and the Australian woman suffrage movement, but I learnt so much more, and Clare has also illuminated the context, sequence, and personalities into a coherent and inspiring whole. Never forget the figh
Karen Hapgood
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clare Wright’s book “ You Daughter Of Freedom” is on the Australian suffragettes and their role in getting women the vote in both Australia 🇦🇺 and the UK 🇬🇧 . It’s a great read, and starts by talking about how the author went to Parliament House and saw this huge painted banner and didn’t know anything about it. So she looked into it, and a 500+ page book popped out! I enjoyed the book, wondered why I didn’t know all this before. I also resolved that next time I go to Parliament House I am going ...more
Julie Cohen
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, top-rated
This book was a solid 4-4.5 stars for most of it, but I think the final chapters might have just about pushed it up to 5. While there are some passages that feel a little too full of detail, on the whole it is full of inspiring and important stories of the journey towards female suffrage. Wright does not at all shy away from some of the more shameful elements of the debate, but i was left with such a feeling of pride and gratitude that my forebears fought so hard and with such ingenuity for a ri ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who,knew that Australia had so many influential women political activists? Clare Wright brings these ladies alive and harks back to a time when political idealism and achievements were high. This was inspiring to read....and it made me wonder what some of these women would think of our present day politics and the role of women in Australia. Well worth the read, especially for the reasons trotted out for stopping women’s achievements.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading. The stories of these women who fought and at times died for their rights are powerful and until now very poorly documented. You should know who these women were. Clare Wright’s prose is easy to read and almost conversational, which is a good thing; she is informative and authoritative without being aloof or stuffy. Very much enjoyed every page, and can’t recommend it enough.
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Heavy reading but such an important contribution to our understanding of Australian history - primarily because of the way it pulls the early feminists out of the shadows and shows their contribution. Definitely worth the effort - and the author makes it easier because of the way she writes i.e. making the historical details into an interesting narrative.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great story-teller historian Clare Wright is. I loved every page of this thrilling book, which provided me with a much better understanding of the history and significance of Australian women's ground-breaking suffrage.
Kate Walton
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good overview of the Australian women's suffrage movement and how it supported the same movement in the UK. Surprised to see some figures missing, however, like Edith Cowan.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, inspiring book!!
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Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, 'Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans', garnered both critical and popular acclaim and her second, 'The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka', won the 2014 Stella Prize.

She researched, wrote and presented the ABC TV docum

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