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From Suffragette to Fascist: The Many Lives of Mary Sophia Allen

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Length: 168 pages3 hours

Summary

The first biography of a unique pioneering woman—a police officer, fascist, suffragette, and spy Mary Allen first came to notoriety as a thrice-gaoled, window-smashing suffragette. When WSPU activities ceased in 1914, Allen pioneered the first female police force, recruiting and training hundreds of women. Although honored with an OBE for her policing work during World War I, she was soon infuriating the Establishment by traveling the world in her unauthorized uniform. Forced away from policing in the interwar period, Mary tried her hand at becoming an acclaimed author, running for Parliament, and countering the IRA threat. When her head was turned by a meeting with Hitler, she became Chief Women's Officer of the British Union of Fascists. On the eve of World War II Mary narrowly escaped internment, despite suspicions of spying, secret flights to Germany, and Nazi salutes. Although adored by loyal friends, Mary’s willfulness tarnished her reputation and has, until now, overshadowed her extraordinary life and achievements. This is her story.

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