Collecting Suffrage: The Game of ‘Suffragette’

I will shortly be issuing a new book and ephemera catalogue – number 175. It will comprise books and ephemera by and about women – with special sections on Women’s Suffrage and Women in the First World War. If you would like a copy of the printed or email version please let me know. A short time after these have been sent out, I shall post the catalogue on this website.

The Rules of the Game. ‘The Haunted House’ appears on the reverse of every card

Amongst several rare items that I shall be including in the ‘Women’s Suffrage’ section is ‘The Game of “Suffragette”‘.

This card game was  invented by the Kensington branch of the WSPU, probably in the late summer of 1907, and, as such, is, I think, the earliest of the games that were marketed as a tool of suffragette propaganda. It was described in the second issue of ‘Votes for Women’, November 1907.

The first issue of ‘Votes for Women’, October 1907, had on its cover the picture of the ‘Haunted House’ by David Wilson, which had first appeared in the ‘Daily Chronicle’ in April 1907. Depicting a seated woman brooding over the Houses of Parliament, a demand for ‘Votes for Women’ in her hand, this image appears on the reverse of every card in this game – and on the base of the box.  David Wilson (1873-1935)  was an Irish-born illustrator, soon to become chief cartoonist for ‘The Graphic’.

The game comprises 54 cards (all present) divided into 13 sets of 4 cards each – one of the odd ones being known as ‘The Bill’ – and the other a spare which has been used to record the score of a game played long ago by 6 people, designated by their initials. All the sets have names: eg. Prominent Supporters, Arguments, Freewomen, Voteless Women etc – and each card poses a series of questions. Some of the cards also carry photographs – of Christabel Pankhurst, Annie Kenney, Mrs Fawcett, Elizabeth Robins, Israel Zangwill, and Mary Gawthorpe. 

Along with the cards – and the original box – is the original, all-important, set of rules. These describe in detail the various ways in which the game can be played – it seems very inventive.

 

This is an incredibly scarce item. Although I wrote of it in The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide, this is the first set I have ever seen.  An amazing survival.

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  1. #1 by Marguerite Kearns on September 17, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    I would love a copy to review on Suffrage Wagon News Channel (suffragewagon.org). This is extremely exciting.

    • #2 by womanandhersphere on September 17, 2012 - 4:09 pm

      I’m assuming you mean that you’d like a copy of catalogue 175 – (The Game of ‘Suffragette’ is just one item in the Suffrage section – which also includes non-fiction suffrage books – together with other suffrage ephemera – leaflets, postcards, etc) and I’m most happy to oblige. I will email the text to you on Friday (which is when my UK customers will receive their printed copy). I’m glad to have made contact.
      Elizabeth

  2. #3 by Joanna Bailey on September 17, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    I would really like you to email me a copy of catalogue 175. I teach history in an all boys school and as part of our GCSE we study the suffragettes. They are constantly amazed! I now can’t wait to find out how they respond to a game! I am looking forward to seeing the other items. Thank you

  3. #4 by womanandhersphere on September 18, 2012 - 10:09 am

    Jo ~ will do.
    Thanks for the interest
    Elizabeth

  4. #5 by Victoria Goodbody on September 18, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    Dear Elizabeth

    Please could you send me a printed copy of your new catalogue.

    My postal address is: 87 Histon Road Cottenham Cambs CB24 8UQ

    Many thanks

    Victoria

    ________________________________

    • #6 by womanandhersphere on September 18, 2012 - 8:01 pm

      Victoria ~ will do. It will go out with the main mailing tomorrow.
      Thank you for your interest.
      Elizabeth

  5. #7 by Charlotte Jeaavons on October 26, 2012 - 10:38 am

    Hello.

    I’m not sure if you can help me. I have a big birthday coming up and so I have decided to treat myself to something that I’ve always wanted. I’d really like a piece of Suffragette pottery, ideally a cup and saucer. Any help / advice that you could give to help me achieve this would be very much appreciated.

    Please could you send me a copy of your catologue. My address is; The Sheiling, Chirch Rd, Rotherfiled, East Sussex, TN6 3LB.

    Best wishes
    Charlotte

    • #8 by womanandhersphere on October 30, 2012 - 9:08 am

      Sally ~ did you receive the email I sent to you in response to your query? Elizabeth

  6. #9 by emily on August 18, 2014 - 11:36 pm

    thanks for letting me read very interesting
    emily

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