Miss Muriel Matters
The Australian actress who became one of London's most famous suffragists. In 1909 a young Australian actress made headlines around the world when she took to the sky over the British Houses of Parliament in an air balloon emblazoned with the slogan 'Votes for Women'. When prevailing winds forced her to sail around London instead, she succeeded in dropping leaflets all over the city. A year earlier, Muriel Matters, who became known as 'that daring Australian girl', had chained herself to an iron grille in the British House of Commons to protest against women being segregated in Parliament, thus becoming the first woman to speak in the House. She was sent to Holloway Prison for her crime, and on her release she added prison reform to her list of campaigns. She went on to become an avid suffragette, touring England in a horse-drawn caravan to promote her cause, and using street art to spread the word. So why has Muriel Matters remained a relative unknown in both Britain and her home country? In MURIEL MATTERS, bestselling writer Robert Wainwright discovers an extraordinary woman full of intelligence, passion and bravery who fought for women's rights in a world far from equal.