Collecting Suffrage: Portrait Postcard Of Christabel Pankhurst, c. 1908

Head and shoulders photographic portrait of Christabel Pankhurst, probably dating from c. 1908.

She is  wearing a rather attractive loose, square-necked dress, with her hair up in her characteristic knot. When Kate Frye attended a meeting of the Actresses’ Franchise League addressed by Christabel in February 1910 she commented, ‘Her hair was very untidy and I think would suit her so much better done low than on top in an ugly little knob.’ But I always think the hint of dishevelment is rather endearing.

The postcard is captioned ‘Miss Christabel Pankhurst. The National Women’s Social and Political Union. 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’, indicating that it was issued after some members, led by Mrs Charlotte Despard, broke away to form the Women’s Freedom League in the autumn of 1907. For a time they hoped to keep the ‘WSPU’ name, which led the Pankhursts to rename their faction ‘The National WSPU’.

The card was published by Sandle Bros. and would have been for sale in WSPU shops. This copy came from a collection put together by three suffragette sisters.  Fine – unposted – £40 + VAT in UK and EU. Email me if interested in purchasing. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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