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Helen Charman for Mother State

Tuesday 17th September

Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, York Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 1NG
Doors Open
Start Time
Helen Charman event

“The care of children is a social responsibility that rightly should be shared by all of us. Still, though, this isn’t the case: in the UK today, mothering is frequently politicised, but rarely acknowledged in all its fullness to be political.”

We are thrilled to welcome Helen Charman to the bookshop for Mother State: A Political History of Motherhood.

This is an impassioned and highly researched first political history of motherhood in the UK and Ireland in the last fifty years, in order to recapture the idea of motherhood as a collective, political act – to reconsider the bearing and/or raising children to be the responsibility of society as a whole. For we are all the children of mothers whose social circumstances and political experiences have moulded us as much as her care. In this sense, mothering has always been collective and political. But it is seldom seen that way.

Arguing that we need to understand motherhood itself as an inherently political state, one that poses a serious challenge to the status quo, here are stories from the front lines of mothers’ fights for alternative futures. From Women's Liberation to austerity, from Margaret Thatcher to Kat Slater, we meet communities of lesbian squatters, anti-nuclear campaigners, the wives of striking miners and teenage mothers protesting housing cuts: groups who believed that if you want to nourish your children, you have to nourish the world around them too.

Helen will be joined by Marisa Bate, author of Wild Hope. Marisa has built a respected and trusted name as a feminist journalist, writing for, amongst others, the Guardian, the Times, The Telegraph, the i Paper, the Independent, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, PORTER, Grazia, Stylist, Red, and

Marisa is a regular commentator on feminist issues, with recent appearances across TV radio including BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight and Woman's Hour. Marisa holds an MA in Twentieth Century Literature and its Intellectual Contexts from Goldsmiths, London. Her piece about Doria Ragland, single mothers and her own mother was The Pool's highest performing piece of content ever.