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Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Cartoonist Kate Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBTQI+ history, as she takes us on a PRIDE march past personal and political milestones from the 1950s to the present day. Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Myriad Editions
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Ben Truong
Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Kate Charlesworth, which chronicles the LGBTQ+ movement in the United Kingdom over the last seventy years, while focused on Charlesworth life during this time.

Across almost 70 years, Charlesworth has seen massive changes in British attitudes towards queer people. These weren't changes that happened on their own, they're not part of some inevitable tumble towards progress, as they were hard fought for and pushed
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an fucking incredible, exhaustive, dazzling history of LGBT life in england and its coverage of recent history blew me away. I always knew there were things I wasnt aware of about my history as a gay woman, but I never knew there was so much! This is vital reading. Theres no other way to put it. Funny, inclusive, beautiful, affectionate and so full of love it might burst. I loved this book.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bloody brilliant, aye!
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide by Kate Charlesworth combines a beautiful memoir of a lesbian life with an in-depth queer history of post-war Britain. Its a real treasure trove, one I pored over for hours learning about queer actors, activists and artists, many of whom seem to have been lost to common knowledge, especially in the younger queer community. I've been thinking lots recently about how only certain bits of LGBTQ history seems to get a lot of traction while other people and events ...more
L.H. Johnson
It's difficult to talk about Sensible Footwear by Kate Charlesworth without telling you what an utterly wonderful book it is. It is simply wonderful, this powerful, personal and political story of LGBTQI+ history within the United Kingdom from the 1950s to the present day. I was very young and in the first years of school when section 28 was enacted and I do not ever remember being taught about histories like this. Though I can't directly link it towards the act itself of course, what with being ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic, lgbt, memoir
My wife and I were delighted to find a signed copy of this book when we visited the beautiful Golden Hare Books on a trip to Edinburgh. Sensible Footwear is a graphic history of Charlesworth's life, from her birth in 1950 to the preset day, alongside a history of the LGBTQ movement in Britain, and the changes in British society. In many ways, it's everything I felt the trite and forgettable Queer: A Graphic History should have been, and isn't, though its remit is very different from that book. ...more
Erica G
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From my review in DIVA magazine, August 2019:

‘Kate Charlesworth succeeds in inducing a cheeky smile with the title of her graphic memoir, Sensible Shoes, but it’s so much more than a lesbian in-joke; the book is a chronicle of an incredible life interwoven with the monumental changes the LGBTQI community has borne over the last 70 years. A cartoonist and self-proclaimed ‘dyke about town’, Charlesworth depicts different stages of her life from childhood to coming out to her flourishing adulthood.
I reviewed this for the Lesbrary, but the long and short of it is that I am very much here for memoirs about a lesbian cartoonist from 1950s Barnsley that also provide a crash-course in queer media and activism in the UK!
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
What strikes me, as a straight reader of this graphic story come history of gay rights, is just how recently our new equality has arrived and how similarly recent persecution and unfair treatment was the norm. Great format!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
the drawing style was very busy, which is not my favourite, but it was an absolutely astonishing record of recent queer history in the UK. Must-read for the young'uns out here reaping the benefits of this not-so-distant struggle for equality!
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A warm, inclusive, extensive and gorgeously drawn queer history from the 1950s to now. Kate Charlesworth has managed to achieve an unbelievably broad reach with this book and it has educated many of us who thought we knew our stuff!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Informative and at times very touching blend of history and memoir.
Combines Kate Charlesworth's personal experiences with LGTB+ history from a British perspective. A fascinating and an informative read!
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Kate Charlesworth was born in Yorkshire and studied at the Manchester College of Art and Design. Her illustrations have appeared in the Guardian, the Independent and she has worked on many books, comics and magazines. She lives in Edinburgh.