Carried Away’ is a novella – or short story, depending on who is making the definition – set in the alternative universe of the Suffrajitsu: Mrs. Pankhurst’s Amazons graphic novel. This gives you more background into the suffragette movement and how it was affected by the class structures in place at the time, and gives you an opportunity to see more of Persephone Wright and her Amazons. Most of the action is seen through the eyes of a young domestic maid, Tressa Boniface.
Tressa is our ‘every girl’ protagonist, and is caught up in political turmoil of the era. After one unfortunate incident at a suffragette rally – which she chose to attend – Tressa takes charge of her own fate. She isn’t a helpless demoiselle pulled along by forces beyond her control. Instead, she takes Bartitsu classes and trains to become one of the Amazons. She works towards increasing her own power and confidence, which is keeping with the suffragette discourse.
This story also shows how the suffragettes worked together to support one another, and how other women supported the cause, some openly, some secretly. It shows how some wives could support the cause without risking their marriages, by quietly working to subvert opposition to the suffragette movement. The majority of the women in the narrative are portrayed as supporting the cause in some way.
There are male characters in this story that are allies to the suffragettes and there are adversaries to the suffragette cause. The only nit-pick I would have with the characterizations was the lack of women characters opposing the movement. Such women existed in large numbers, as many people fear change to the status quo. But the narrative is restricted by its word length, and so there wasn’t really the space to explore everything relating to these sorts of characters.
I would recommend this novella to anyone who has enjoyed the graphic novel, as it fills in the background details of the Suffrajitsu universe and revisits the characters. If you haven’t read the graphic novel, it is still an enjoyable read as a standalone story about the suffragette movement. Ray Dean is an engaging writer with crisp prose, and a good feel for the zeitgeist of the historical era. A perfect read over a cup of tea and some biscuits.
Ray Dean is at: www.raydean.net
You can obtain a copy of the novella at: