One of the many new books I have enjoyed in this suffrage centenary year is The Prison Diary of Annie Cobden-Sanderson, edited by Dr Marianne Tidcombe.
Annie Cobden-Sanderson, daughter of the eminent Liberal politician, Richard Cobden, and wife of Arts and Crafts bookbinder and printer, T.J. Sanderson, was one of the first suffragettes to go to prison in London. The diary covers her imprisonment, 1-23 November 1906. The fact that Cobden’s daughter was serving time in Holloway made the headlines and sent a frisson through the Liberal establishment.
The following year she went on a US speaking tour and her prison credentials engendered handsome publicity for her friend Harriot Stanton Blatch’s Equality League.
The book contains both a facsimile of the diary (the original is held at LSE) and a transcription, together with extensive notes by Dr Tidcombe on the characters and events mentioned and a biographical introduction giving a full description of Annie’s life.
Annie Cobden-Sanderson was arrested again in 1909 – on the occasion shown in the photograph above – but that time her fine was paid without her knowledge, depriving her of another short prison term.
This beautifully produced and illustrated book, published by Libanus Press, is available from all bookshops and from Amazon – https://tinyurl.com/y7asmw8g