Archive for category Collecting Suffrage

Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: Flyer for WSPU Window-Smashing Demo on 21 Nov 1911

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.

Today’s image:

WSPU invitation to demonstrate outside the House of Commons on Tuesday 21 Nov 1911

WSPU invitation to demonstrate outside the House of Commons on Tuesday 21 Nov 1911

As Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence mentions in this leaflet, she – with Christabel Pankhurst, Annie Kenney, Mabel Tuke, Lady Constance Lytton and Elizabeth Robins – had represented the WSPU in a joint deputation from all suffrage societies to Asquith and Lloyd George to protest against the government’s intention to introduce a manhood suffrage bill, which just might, if the House of Commons desired, be amended to include women. This had been a bitter blow to suffrage campaigners who had pinned their hopes on putting before Parliament a Conciliation  Bill – which would have enfranchised a proportion of women.

The deputation had received no comfort from Lloyd George and Asquith and this flyer was the WSPU’s response.

Kate Frye, whose diary I have edited as Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary (click here for details), went along to Parliament Square that Tuesday evening. In fact it was she who laid this very flyer between the pages of her diary and thus preserved it. She was an organiser for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage [NCSWS] but rather sympathetic to the WSPU – and always liked to be on the scene of any dramatic action.

This is what she wrote of the evening in her diary:

‘I went in to Lyons and had coffee and a sandwich. Who should I happen to sit next but Miss Ada Moore [an actress and active member of the WSPU] and 2 ladies – ready for the fray. I wonder I wasn’t arrested as one – for I soon realised I was dressed for the part to the life. Long cloth ulster or coat, light hat and veil was the correct costume – no bag purse – umbrella or any extra. I only had enough money to get home with in my coat pocket – the rest I had put in the suit case – the latch key was slung round my neck. It was awfully exciting – one felt like a red revolutionist.

Miss Moore & party left at 7.30 – her work lay in Whitehall, she told me – but she looked very white and strained and we did not talk much. I began to feel pretty green with all the force of strife in the air – I felt I too should only be in my rightful place when officially performing.

I left Lyons at 7.45 and strolled about. At the stroke of eight there was smashing of glass at some government office – the War Office I took it for – and I saw several – 8 or 9 or more – ladies  led off – all very quietly done – no rough usage – no struggling. I followed them down Whitehall to Canon Row. More arrests – more broken glass – more crowds, a little jostling – people being moved on this way or that way – for the most part silent crowds – growing bigger and bigger – a rush to see another  arrest – a bigger crowd surging up the street following the policeman with the arrested women but oh! what a different scene from last year when the women were so brutally knocked about.

I suppose the crowd was worse over the other side of Parliament Square but I was too timid to wander far, and I met Mrs Hartley [a founder of the NCSWS], her daughter, 2 friends and Miss Green and we all kept together, and we shouted whenever a prisoner was led along – “Bravo” “Well Done”. People took it up – but for the most part stood and watched silently. As far as I could see there no ill feeling whatever from the crowd to the women – the men stared solemnly at the proceedings.

We met Mrs Chapman and Miss Forsyth. Mrs Chapman [president of the NCSWS] was anxious as her daughter, Mrs Mansel,  was ‘in’ it. We stood talking and got a crowd round us so had to “move on”.

We saw Mrs Pethick Lawrence led into Canon Row. There was a good deal of excitement then a huge crowd pushing along with her and other ladies. It was awfully cold and it was all very dreadful but I have never seen work better done – nearly every window in Whitehall with a large round hole right in the centre. Downing St was guarded. No one was allowed near.

Then people seemed drifting away so I made my way to Charing Cross – got my suitcase from the cloak room.’ 

This demonstration was the first to use mass window-smashing tactics – a later, similar, event is shown near the beginning of the film ‘Suffragette’. On 21 November 1911 220 women and 3 men were arrested and the next day around 150 of these were sentenced to period of between five days’ and two months’ imprisonment.

Kate Frye cover

Suffragette Film Poster 2

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: The ‘Woman’s Rights’ Kerchief

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.

Today’s image:

 

Woman's Rights Kerchief 1

‘Woman’s Rights 1861/1981 And What Came Of It’

This is a white cotton kerchief ,measuring 22.5″ x 24″. It dates – presumably – from 1861 (the Design Registration No is 364805) and the very stylish illustrations printed on it show what the world would be like 120 years into the future – ie in 1981 – when women had won their Rights.

Thus women appear as barristers and judges, as admirals, captains and sailors, as athletes, as telegraph girls, as astronomers, scientists and – and who can now restrain their laughter – as politicians. The men, meanwhile, mind the babies, do the tatting and are parlour maids and house maids.

The kerchief – designed four years before the presentation of the first suffrage petition – contains all the tropes – the embodiment of light-hearted, but deeply-rooted prejudice – that are now so familiar to us through the comic postcards that were produced in response to the suffragette campaign in the years before the First World War.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: The WSPU Flag

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 – wfor which I was an historical consultanthich contains a good deal of suffrage material – as well as general books and ephemera by and about women – see here.

Today’s image:

 

A WSPU Flag

A WSPU Flag

The flag is 68.5cm ( 27 “) wide x 132cm (52”) long and comprises three linen sections, stitched together very neatly – one each of purple, white and green (from the top in that order).

This item would not, I have thought, been free flying – but rather pinned up at a WSPU meeting or in a shop or at a bazaar.

Pankhurst meeting flags

One can see such flags draped here behind the platform where Mrs Pankhurst, Christabel and Mrs Pethick-Lawrence are addressing a suffrage meeting (with Elizabeth Garrett Anderson sitting immediately to Mrs Pankhurst’s right).

Presumably after it had had its day, the flag was neatly folded up and consigned to an attic – to reappear 100 years later. This is the only example of a WSPU flag that – in over 30 years of dealing – I have ever had for sale and I’m pleased to report that it went to a very good home – the House of Commons.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: ‘The Suffragette’ – A 1913 Feature Film

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.

 

Today’s image:

Britannia Films still 1

Yesterday I was invited to the cast and crew screening of ‘Suffragette’ and had my second opportunity to see the film. It gets better each time. Travelling home on the bus I realised that today’s post just had to be about a 1913 film coincidentally – although perhaps not surprisingly – called ‘The Suffragette’.

Above is a still from the film – one of a sequence in a photograph album that I discovered.

On the front cover of the album was the remains of a printed label for ‘Britannia Films’. This film company was set up by Pathé at the end of 1911 to produce British feature films, while Pathé continued to produce newsreels.

At the end of 1913  ‘The Suffragette’ was one of the films released by Britannia Films. The description given of the film by the British Film Institute – which I faithfully recorded in the list of ‘suffragette films’ in The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide–  is of the vaguest – ‘A disowned schoolmistress’s uncle destroys her father’s amended will ‘ And yet this hokum plot can be followed through the first 17 film stills in this ‘Britannia Films’ album.

The scene shown above is set in a suffragette office, its walls lined with (real) newspaper posters – such as one recording the death of Emily Davison at the 1913 Derby. In another the heroine is setting light to a fuse leading inside a house – suffragette arson.

Another still shows two women lighting a fuse that trails back into a house. I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say that there is a rather similar scene in ‘our’ ‘Suffragette’.

The International Movie Data Base (see here for details) names the actress playing the heroine as Agnes Glynne and a male lead as James Carew (who was, or had been, the very much younger husband of Ellen Terry).

As there is no extant copy of the film and the British Film Institute holds no archival stills – these images are the only known surviving record of this once topical film.  As so few records survive of the spate of films that featured suffragette themes this one, clearly filmed between June 1913 (because it features the Derby poster) and December 1913 (its release), is an important survivor.

 

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: ‘The Suffragette Puzzle’

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.

Today’s image:

The Suffragette Puzzle

The Suffragette Puzzle

Yet another game based on the difficulties encountered by suffrage campaigners.

‘The Suffragette Puzzle’ was produced by F.H. Ayres Ltd, 111 Aldersgate Street, London and was launched in 1908. It required considerable dexterity ‘To get the Women’s Suffrage Bill through the Houses of Parliament’ – although rather less than the real-life  effort demanded of the suffrage societies;

This game is extremely scarce – I’ve only had this one example for sale in over thirty years of dealing in suffrage ephemera.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

 

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement

 

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: ‘Panko’

To celebrate the release on 12 October of the film ‘Suffragette’  (with which I had a slight association) 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.

Today’s image:

Panko

Panko

Panko was a card game, published by Messrs Peter Gurney Ltd. The cards were designed by E.T. Reed, a Punch cartoonist.

Panko was first advertised in the issue of Votes for Women for 10 December 1909, claiming ‘Not only is each picture in itself an interesting memento, but the game produces intense excitement without the slightest taint of bitterness’.Panko Rules - Copy

Mary Blathwayt – the ardent Bath suffragette – gave her mother a pack as her Christmas present and I’ve no doubt that Panko was in many another suffragette’s Christmas stocking that year.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

 

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement

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Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: ‘Elusive Christabel’

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.

Today’s image:

Elusive Christabel

Elusive Christabel

‘Elusive Christabel’ is an optical toy produced by the Flashograph Co in 1912. It alludes to Christabel Pankhurst’s escape to France in March 1912 as the police closed in on Clement’s Inn and arrested the other leaders of the Women’s Social and Political Union and charged them with conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

When – as commanded – you move the paper control ‘up and down gently’ the scene changes to this:

Elusive Christabel 1

The WSPU had a lot of fun at the expense of the police, publishing photographs of Christabel in Votes for Women and asking readers to guess where she might be. The Flashograph Co clearly had an eye for topicality.

Needless to say ‘Elusive Christabel’ lives up to its name and is exceptionally elusive nowadays. I’ve only ever had one pass through my hands in over thirty years of dealing in suffragette material.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

Copyright

All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement

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