“Brave women in history are examples that help us to be brave in the present. Learning about Ethel Smyth will be life-changing right now.” —Gloria Steinem
? “A stirring tribute to a free-spirited composer who rode roughshod over her time’s constraints on women….A rare nod to a now (but undeservedly) obscure artist, eloquent and inspirational.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A 2023 Notable Trade Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (NCSS-CBC)
In 1867 England, a girl learned to be proper and speak when spoken to. But one girl marched to a different beat. Ethel Smyth climbed fences, explored graveyards, and yearned to become a famous composer at a time when only men could publish their music. But become a composer she did, first signing her music as E. Smyth so people couldn't guess her gender, then eventually writing openly as a woman (but still sometimes not getting paid!). Ethel had had enough. She joined the suffragette movement, marching in the streets and fighting for the right to vote. She even composed the famous "March of the Women" battle cry—and directed it from her cell window with a toothbrush when she was put into prison.
In superb text and stunning illustrations, Rise Up With a Song tells this remarkable story of Ethel Smyth, the woman who refused to stay down and who used her music to change the fate of women around the world. Backmatter includes a brief bio of Ethel's musical life, a list of famous works, and even a fascimile of her famous "March of the Women." An essential addition to musical and feminist libraries everywhere!
“As I discovered when I first encountered her superb compositions, Ethel Smyth's music speaks for itself. But reading about her remarkable life story can also compel us to do more – to be more bold, and to fight for what we believe in. Told here in a wonderful way by Diane Worthey, this book will inspire people of all ages and genders.” —James Blachly, Music Director, Experiential Orchestra
About the Author
Helena Pérez García is a Spanish illustrator whose work has appeared across magazines, newspapers, packaging, and books for children and adults internationally. Her illustrations are conceptual, whimsical, and rich in detail and color. Helena’s primary medium is gouache, and her main sources of inspiration are art, literature, and cinema. After completing a Fine Arts Degree in Spain, Helena relocated to London in 2012, where she lived and worked for 6 years. During this period, and driven by the artistic history and cultural influences of the city and the country, Helena developed her characteristic style. She relocated to Madrid in 2018, where she is currently based. Some of her clients include Penguin Random House, The Body Shop, Tate Publishing, The Financial Times, Reader’s Digest and Il Corriere della Sera, amongst many others.