Simon & Schuster UK is to publish The Century Girls, a "unique, social history, female-narrative" by Tessa Dunlop.
Iain MacGregor, S&S publishing director for non-fiction, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights plus audio to the title from Robert Kirby at United Agents.
According to the publisher, The Century Girls "not only celebrates the 100th anniversary of the act of parliament allowing the vote for women in 1918, but will serve as a unique and poignant account of what life was really like for women, as told through the experiences of some key figures who are now themselves well over a hundred years old. It will tell the human story of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in the modern world of post-Great War Britain, by re-telling what their actual day-to-day reality was like, through the decades."
For the book, Dunlop sought out and interviewed a "truly incredible cast of characters, whether these women resided in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland; whether they were housewives, or in the workplace; and describing their surroundings of the city, the countryside, or coming to the British Isles from the empire".
Dunlop said: "The Century Girls in this book have lived through a period of extraordinary change. The world they were born into is unrecognisable today; they are true survivors and I am very excited about capturing their stories of endurance, hope, loss and love."
MacGregor added: "It seems odd in the 21st-century and the upcoming referendum vote, that it was only one hundred years ago that women could actually cast their vote in our country’s future. Through the decades we may see this as bizarre, but with Tessa Dunlop’s skill as an interviewer and writer she will be able to weave a wonderful story of how the women’s vote was enacted into the statute books, and how their gender progressed to equality through the past century – all through the memories of female centurions alive today. We’re incredibly excited about this book in all formats."
Dunlop is a television presenter, radio broadcaster and historian. She has presented history programmes for the BBC, Discovery Channel Europe, Channel 4, UKTV History and the History Channel.
The Century Girls will be released as a hardback in the spring of 2018. The previous title of the book was The Bletchley Girls.