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Dr fern Riddell

DR Fern Riddell is a cultural historian, and an expert in sex, suffrage and entertainment in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Her first book, The Victorian Guide To Sex, tackled the myths of Victorian prudishness. her latest book, Death In Ten Minutes, is an explosive account of the Suffragette bomber and birth control activist, Kitty Marion. Fern's unique research into the suffragettes, taken from Death In Ten Minutes, was used in the BafTA Nominated documentary 'Suffragettes with lucy worseley' 

Historical Consultant for the BAFTA award-winning BBC and Amazon drama Ripper Street, she advises on both Specialist Factual and Drama productions for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Arts, and has appeared as an expert historian for radio and television internationally. 

She writes for The Guardian, Huffington PostTimes Higher Education, The Telegraph, The New Statesman and is a columnist for BBC History Magazine. 

Represented by Kirsty McLachlan, David Goodwin associates 


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The victorian guide to sex

death in ten minutes

Consult the oracle


'Fierce, fresh and feminist,

Fern Riddell tells the story of Suffragette Kitty Marion in a way that fizzes and shocks. Exciting, twisty and very very timely.'

Lucy Worsley

book tour

May 24, 2018

7 pm


Hay Festival


Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

The never-before-told story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion. The historian Fern Riddell finds a hidden diary and uses Kitty's own words to tell the story of her sensational life and explosive actions. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

June 09, 2018

6 pm



'Join Fern Riddell, an historian specialising in sex, suffrage and culture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and regular contributor to the Guardian, Huffington Post, Telegraph and Times Higher Education as she uncovers the story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion, told through never before seen personal diaries in Kitty's own hand.'

August 25, 2018

10.30 AM


Edinburgh International Book Festival

**Helen Pankhurst & Fern Riddell with Adele Patrick**


The stories of women’s struggles for suffrage are rarely rosy. Historian Fern Riddell’s new book Death in Ten Minutes reveals the shocking tale of Kitty Marion, a violent activist forgotten by history. Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter Helen Pankhurst charts the progress of women’s rights in Deeds Not Words. Talking to Adele Patrick of Glasgow Women's Library, they examine the past and question why so much remains to be done in the fight for equality. Part of our Revolting Women series of events.

September 08, 2018

6 pm


Gloucester History Festival

**Fern Riddell, Janina Ramirez & Naisha Hussain - Wonder Women**


Suffragette Kitty Marion is just one of the compelling and extraordinary women who changed the course of history but whose stories have been hidden until now. Women make up half the population but less than 0.5% of recorded history. Two of the country’s top historians Fern Riddell and Janina Ramirez join Naisha Hussain to discuss the intriguing women who inspired them and whose stories have been until recently hidden from history.

September 14, 2018

4.30 pm


Winchester Heritage Open Day

As part of our Extraordinary Women series: Dr Fern Riddell tells the story of Kitty Marion, a woman sent across the country by the Pankhurst family to carry out a nationwide campaign of bombings and arson attacks, as women fought for the vote using any means necessary. But in the aftermath of World War One, the dangerous and revolutionary actions of Kitty and other militant suffragettes were quickly hushed up and disowned by the previously proud movement, and the women who carried out these attacks were erased from our history.

Join us as Dr Fern Riddell asks Why has the life of this incredible woman, and the violence of the suffragettes been forgotten?

October 03, 2018

4.30 pm

Warwick Words History Festival

Warwick Words is a festival of the written and spoken word in the historic town of Warwick. Festival events can either be booked by phoning 01926 776438, by post or online.

October 05, 2018

13.30 PM


BBC History Weekend WINCHESTER

"Bombs! Arson! Anarchy! Sent by the Pankhursts to carry out a nationwide campaign of attacks, Kitty Marion fought for the vote by any means necessary. But the violence of the militant suffragettes was quickly hushed up. In this talk, Fern will bring this untold story back to life."

October 06, 2018

2 PM



This event and special commission commemorate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which granted some women in the UK the right to vote for the first time and was an important step towards universal suffrage.

We commissioned writer and composer Sarah Sayeed (BBC Verb New Voices 2018) to write a dramatic monologue which will weave together the lives of two women: the real life Victorian suffragette Princess Sophia Singh and the fictional Prem, a contemporary British Asian woman who is campaigning for justice within her own community.

Following a short performance, Sarah will be joined in conversation with author Caitlin Davies, whose book Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades uses Holloway Prison, which played a pivotal part in the suffragettes’ campaign and housed Emmeline Pankhurst and Alice Wheeldon, as a starting point to explore a history of women’s incarceration. Historian Fern Riddell will join the panel to discuss Death in Ten Minutes, the story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion, whose story she tells through Kitty’s own diaries.

October 19, 2018

11.40 a.m



Bombs! Arson! Anarchy! Sent by the Pankhursts to carry out a nationwide campaign of attacks, Kitty Marion fought for the vote by any means necessary. But the violence of the militant suffragettes was quickly hushed up. In this talk, Fern will bring this untold story back to life.

December 07, 2018




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#Ditm in the Press


in time for





kitty comes home


Appearing as an expert on all aspects of sex, suffrage and culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Dr Fern Riddell has appeared onscreen for multiple BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Arts documentaries, as well as presenting short films for BBC Arts and BBC iWonder.


Picked as one of BBC Radio 3's Ten 'New Generation Thinkers' for 2013, she has also appeared regularly on R3's FreeThinking, R4's Front Row, Making History, and presented for R3's Sunday Feature and The Essay.

Full Credit listing available here


Historical Consultant

Starting as part of the consulting team for the brilliant BBC prime-time drama, Ripper Street, series 3-5, Fern has gone on to advise on multiple drama productions for both the BBC and ITV. This involves consulting at any and all stages of devolopement - from planning to production - and being on call during filming for any questions from the set.  


Fern has also consulted on multiple stage productions, including for the Royal Shakespeare Company, running a workshop for the cast on 19th-Century attitudes, and answering questions from the production team. 

off-screen consulting for specialist factual includes Horrible Histories, Who Do You Think you Are, and most recently, as the lead consultant for Lucy WOrsely's 'How Women Got The Vote', which used Fern's original PHD Research to construct a never-before seen history of the WOmen's Suffrage movement in the u.k. 


For availability and fees, Contact Here.







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