To celebrate the release on 12 October of the film ‘Suffragette’ (for which I was an historical consultant) I will post each day an image of a suffrage item that has passed through my hands.
For my current catalogue – No 189 – which contains a good deal of suffrage material – as well as general books and ephemera by and about women – see here.
This image (courtesy of Schlesinger Library) is of an English poster. I was fortunate enough to buy one of the originals of this poster at auction some years ago. This was before the days of digital cameras, which is why I, alas, don’t have my own record of it.
The poster was issued by the Brighton and Hove Women’s Franchise Society c 1908. This society had been founded – or re-founded, because there had been an earlier suffrage society in the town in the late 19th century – in 1906. The Brighton and Hove Women’s Franchise Soceity was a local committee of the non-militant London Society for Women’s Suffrage – that is, a member of Mrs Fawcett’s National Society for Women’s Suffrage.
The artist of the poster is not recorded – but there were no shortage of women artists living in and around Brighton. It was printed by Weiners Ltd of Acton, who also printed posters for the Artists’ Suffrage League.
The message that the poster conveys – that middle-class women were campaigning alongside and on behalf of their poorer sisters – is a theme developed in the film, ‘Suffragette’.