Jane was born in Edinburgh and brought up in North Yorkshire. After reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, she became an antiquarian book dealer, and later a writer. Her ten books to date have been critically acclaimed, and have confirmed her as one of our most engaging and original social historians.
Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and - during university holidays - her two sons. She writes full time, apart from when she's happily travelling to give talks or broadcasts about her books, or working one day a week at Somerville College as an assistant archivist.
Her most recent book came out in January 2018 - Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote . This is a story of ordinary people effecting extraordinary change. By turns dangerous, exhausting and exhilarating, the Great Pilgrimage transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain for ever. Jane Robinson has drawn from diaries, letters and unpublished accounts to tell the inside story of the march, against the colourful background of the entire suffrage campaign.
Listen to this special episode with Jane!
Growing up in Yorkshire
Her passion and love for books
Getting interested in women travellers and women adventurers
Meeting a collector from America and how her life changed
Creating the first bibliography of women travellers
“Wayward Women" - First hand travel accounts written by women
Finding women, whose voices need to be heard
Being inspired by these incredible women’s spirit
Doing the research, one year to research and one year to write
Common themes of her work - looking at social history through women’s lives
Women who headed out to the unknown, who wanted to see what was over the horizon
Dr Susie Rijnhart- a missionary based in China - travelling to Tibet
Getting personally involved in the stories being researched
What she’s learnt from doing this research and writing the stories
2018 and writing the story of women and getting the vote
Not being able to identify with the suffragettes
1913 - The Great Pilgrimage
What is the definition of a suffragette?
The Marches and the narrative behind it
What was being shared in the women’s diaries
Dealing with the real fear of violence from being on the pilgrimage
Which women got the vote
Reading newspaper accounts when women got the vote
Her next book!
Catch up with Catherine Mayer from International Women's Day 2017