Perfectly timed for the centenary of the women's vote in 2018, OLD BAGGAGE takes a unique approach to the suffragette story. Mattie was once a militant campaigner but now in middle age, she finds herself a purposeful woman without a purpose.
As featured on BBC Radio 4 Good Reads
'A timely, bittersweet comic novel' Guardian
What do you do next, after you’ve changed the world?
It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.
Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.
Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never, never given up the fight.
'Essential . . . Evans is a brilliant storyteller' Stylist
“Wise and witty”
Sarah Hughes, Observer
“I loved Old Baggage. Such original characters, and so timely. And it made me weep at the end.”
“Utterly wonderful and intelligent”
India Knight, Sunday Times Magazine
“A timely, bittersweet comic novel”
“Old Baggage gives an inspiring model of womanhood. Moving, warm and wry. It is wonderful!”
“This beautifully written story teems with atmosphere and perfect period detail but it’s the brave and brilliant Mattie that makes it unforgettable”
“Essential . . . Evans is a brilliant storyteller”
“Lissa Evans’s gift for comedy edged with satire and pathos is God-given . . . Mattie’s search for meaning and purpose, which hints at the darker undercurrents of people marginalised by their sex and era, will strike a chord with most.”
Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
“A thoughtful, funny, companionable novel, offering an invigoratingly fresh vantage on a well-trodden period”
Patricia Nicol, Sunday Times
“Lissa Evans writes with beguiling wit and vigour. I found myself utterly involved with her heroines, and the history is spot-on.”
Jane Robinson, author of HEARTS AND MINDS
“A perfectly pitched, captivating read”
Mail on Sunday
“Joyously funny, much poignancy and social commentary. old Baggage is a gloriously entertaining, deeply moving novel.”
““wonderfully rich tale about a clever, lovably nonconformist heroine””
Culture, The Sunday Times