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.
Mrs Pankhurst and Mrs Tuke are sitting at a paper-laden desk. Mabel Tuke was honorary secretary of the Women’s Social and Political Union. Very pretty – as we can see – her nickname was ‘Pansy’.
This photograph gives us an opportunity to deconstruct the surroundings. What pictures did Mrs P. have on the walls? Well there is a poster for a Suffrage Fair and above that a portrait sketch that looks very like that of Christabel Pankhurst by Richard Mathews that is now in the National Portrait Gallery.
There is at least one photograph and one sculptured bust of a child – perhaps one or other – or both – of Mrs Pankhurst’s dead sons. And a small vase of flowers on the mantlepiece. A wonderful picture.
The publisher of the card was H. Sergeant, 159 Ladbroke Grove – who took many photographs for the WSPU.