Series of books on every female MP ever elected to be released next year

A series of essays chronicling every female MP ever elected is set to be released in November 2018 – 100 years after the election of the first female MP.

The two-volume series published by Biteback will be edited by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and the company’s Managing Director Iain Dale.

Volume I will begin with Countess Markievicz, who was elected to the House of Commons in 1918, but did not take her seat, and Nancy Astor, the first female MP to sit in Parliament.

It will contain profiles of the 169 female MPs who served from 1918 to 1997.

Volume II will contain profiles of the 287 female MPs elected between 1997 and 2017 and will be published in November 2019.

All 456 essays will be written by women, including Mary Beard, Liz Truss and Nicky Morgan, who have all been commissioned to write chapters for the first volume.

Others to write chapters include journalists, academics and historians. Ms Smith said she was really looking forward to seeing women’s stories told by other women, adding the early female MPs shared “considerable grit and energy”

Before the election of Trudy Harrison in Copeland by-election last month there had only been 455 female MPs in history – the same number of male MPs currently in the commons.

Dale, a presenter on LBC said: “Each of the 456 women has a fascinating story to tell” and this book allows them to tell it through “the eyes of a contemporary female voice.”

Speaking to The Independent, Smith said: “This year, for the first time, more women have been elected to parliament than men who are currently sitting in the House! Each of these women represents a story of considerable guts, dedication and political history. However they are all different and their stories’ should be told.

“We are asking other women – MPs and others – to write about one of these women MPs for the books. The result will be an enormously valuable resource, but also a good read. It will be a unique history and commentary. We are currently contacting women to write the entries and are getting a very good response.” Smith wouldn’t reveal who is writing Thatcher or May’s entries.

When asked how she feels to what critics might say about this chiming oddly with publishing Katie Hopkins’ book, Smith responded “That’s a question for Iain!”

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