David's Bookshop & David's Music
Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE
Books: 01462 684631 / Music: 01462 475900

Event Information

Author, Jane Robinson Talks about the History of Women's Institute

Thursday 13 October 2011
7:30 pm

Everyone knows three things about the Women’s Institute: they spent the war boiling fruit for jam and keeping up morale; the notorious Calendar Girls were WI; and, more recently, WI members slow-handclapped (or hand-bagged) Tony Blair during his appearance at an AGM.

The WI has a secret history, however, fully revealed for the first time in this fascinating account. It was founded in Britain in 1915, not by worthy ladies in twee...ds and pearls from the shires but by the feistiest women in the country, including suffragettes, academics and social crusaders. This was the first Movement to give rural women a voice and a network, inspiring them to think for themselves and to challenge need and injustice. The WI discovered the heady power of sisterhood, influencing hundreds of thousands of women’s lives, and changing their world in the process.

Certainly its members made jam and sang ‘ Jerusalem ’ through both world wars, but they did much more besides. The Calendar Girls celebrated the spirit of the WI in order to raise millions of pounds for charity. And the Blair episode reverberated around Whitehall long after, changing the course of British politics. The Women’s Institute is – and always was – a force to be reckoned with.

Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh and brought up in North Yorkshire , where her mother was a slightly reluctant secretary of the local WI. After reading English at Somerville College , Oxford , Jane became an antiquarian book dealer, and later a writer. A Force to be Reckoned With is her eighth book, and like her previous work – including the acclaimed Bluestockings - it confirms her as one of our most engaging social historians.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are £4, but are redeemable against the book. The evening will also feature a cake baking competion and stalls from local Women Institutes.

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David's Bookshops are located in Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, only a few minutes’ walk from the railway station in the heart of the Town Centre. There is ample parking nearby.

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01462 684631

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01462 475900

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