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You Daughters of Freedom

You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World

Democracy Trilogy, Book Two

Clare Wright

For the ten years from 1902, when Australia’s suffrage campaigners won the vote for white women, the world looked to this trailblazing young democracy for inspiration.

Clare Wright’s epic new history tells the story of that victory—and of Australia’s role in the subsequent international struggle—through the eyes of five remarkable players: the redoubtable Vida Goldstein, the flamboyant Nellie Martel, indomitable Dora Montefiore, daring Muriel Matters, and artist Dora Meeson Coates, who painted the controversial Australian banner carried in the British suffragettes’ monster marches of 1908 and 1911.

Clare Wright’s Stella Prize-winning The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka retold one of Australia’s foundation stories from a fresh new perspective. With You Daughters of Freedom she brings to life a time when Australian democracy was the envy of the world—and the standard bearer for progress in a shining new century.


Senator Penny Wong’s launch speech
3RRR: Breakfasters
ABC: The Conversation Hour
ABC Radio National: Big Ideas 
ABC Radio National: Big Ideas (with Judith Brett) 
ABC Radio National: Conversations
ABC Radio National: Late Night Live
ABC Radio National: Saturday Extra
ABC Sydney: Drive (0:30)
ABC TV: Q & A 
ANZ LitLovers blog
Australian ($) ‘You Daughters of Freedom brings some forgotten women into the public discourse again, and we are all the richer for it.’
Australian Policy & History
Ballarat Courier
Better Words podcast 
The Conversation

Final Draft
interview (part one)

Final Draft interview (part two)
Guardian: Bookmark This
Her Canberra
onest History 
Inside Story
Spectator ‘Another book to re-invigorate a near-forgotten chapter of history.’
Sydney Institute: Crafting the Nation: The Story of a Banner, a Bicentennial and a Berth in the Big House of Australian Democracy (lecture)
Sydney Morning Herald
Whispering Gums

Clare Wright
About the Author

Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian and author who has worked as an academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her most recent book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize and the 2014 NIB Award for Literature and was shortlisted for many other awards.

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Text publication date:
1 October 2018
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Praise for Clare Wright
andYou Daughters of Freedom

You Daughters of Freedom brings some forgotten women into the public discourse again, and we are all the richer for it.’

‘Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is the uplifting story of a time Australia led the world in including women in our democratic project. It is a reminder of our proud legacy and a clarion call for who we can be.’

‘A thrilling tale, superbly told, of brave Australian women with a passion for politics.’

‘This book will be brilliant.’

‘One of the country’s most accomplished story-tellers relates Australian women’s fight for the vote in all of its passion, intensity and drama.’

‘The essential story of our greatest reformers, and one of our proudest achievements as a nation.’

‘A rare achievement. Grand, bold and brilliantly written.’

You Daughters of Freedom relates with sparkle and wit the largely untold story of the trailblazing women who not only dragged recalcitrant male leaders into the new century and won the right to vote but also were at the forefront of the struggle for women’s enfranchisement internationally.’

‘Her story of Australian suffragists winning the vote and then running for parliament in 1903 should be required reading in this time of angst over the ‘women problem’ in the federal Liberal Party.’

‘I urge you to read it; share it with your family, friend and colleagues; make sure your local library has multiple copies; ditto the local book store and newsagent; put it on the list of you reading group.’


‘A celebration of leadership, inspiration, education and sheer individual cheek.’


‘When I finish, I want to…hold the book aloft and tell every person I know to read it.’

‘A fascinating book that also raises interesting questions about our national culture.’

‘An exciting history of a trailblazing campaign.’

‘Another book to re-invigorate a near-forgotten chapter of history.’

‘Women’s suffrage remains one of young Australia’s finest moments and Wright does its participants proud.’

‘Fresh, compelling and devoid of dry or, worse, obfuscating academese.’

‘So eloquently and subtly challenges the weary emphasis on the Anzac legend as the defining moment of the first two decades of twentieth-century Australian history. Instead, we have an account of the engrossing struggle of Australian women to win the vote in their own country and the crucial role they played in the British suffrage campaign.’

Other editions ofYou Daughters of Freedom