CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ACCESS MY LATEST CATALOGUE
NB MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
A curious incident that occurred – or, rather, didn’t occur – a couple of days ago reminded me of a past link I effected between Persephone Books and English women writing about Italy. For, many years ago, I gave a talk on this subject at a symposium organised by Persephone at Newnham College. I have in the past posted a few articles on my website amplifying some of the material covered – but here below is the fons et origo.
We have to imagine the subject of one of Persephone’s latest books [Flush] curled up on the sofa alongside his mistress in the drawing room at Casa Guidi in Florence. It’s early evening and the long shutters have been opened, letting dusky light into the somewhat cavernous drawing room. Flush is startled by a sudden movement as his mistress puts aside her book, raises herself from a reclining position and takes a few steps over to the open window. They both venture out onto the narrow balcony, facing the imposing wall of the church, opposite across the narrow road. While Flush is involved with Flush business, Elizabeth cranes over the railing, to catch a glimpse of a young boy as he passes, singing, along the street below. It is the essence of his song that I have lifted to name this talk. This is how Elizabeth Barrett Browning put into words her experience that evening:
‘I heard last night a little child go singing
‘Neath Casa Guidi windows, by the church,
O bella libertà, O bella – stringing
The same words still on notes he went in search
So high for, you concluded the upspringing
Of such a nimble bird to sky from perch
Must leave the whole bush in a tremble green,
And that the heart of Italy must beat,
While such a voice had leave to rise serene
‘Twixt church and palace of a Florence street’
Thus in Under Casa Guidi Windows, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of England’s most famous exports to Italy, extolled ‘La Bella Libertà’, the freedom that was Italy’s due. However it takes only a cursory reading to realise that ‘sweet freedom’ was what above all Italy gave to the many English women writers who have, over the last two centuries, flocked there.
As we can recognize, ‘freedom’ is not synonymous with ‘bliss’, but in Italy English women have felt free to fail as well as succeed – to be unhappy as well as happy – at least to be unhappy in their own way. They have felt able in that country, far from home, the Alps a psychological as well as a physical barrier, to construct a life for themselves, untramelled by the conventions that controlled society in England. One would think that nowadays such escape would no longer seem necessary. But nobody can fail to have noticed the recent spate of books by women – not only British women, but also Americans and Australians – describing new lives forged in Italy. These are merely the latest in a line of such love affairs with Italy that stretches way back into at least the 18th century. Indeed, Italian-American women (that is women whose parents or grandparents left the mother country – usually the poor south – for the US) have produced so many works recounting their return that a school of literary criticism is being developed to discuss the phenomenon. And guess what these writers call themselves? – yes, Persephone’s daughters. Persephone, whom the myth relates was snatched from the fields of Enna in Sicily, has become a particularly appropriate symbol for such women who travel in order to reconnect with their ancestral heritage and discover a new identity. Because of patterns of emigration English women are far less likely to have this experience of searching for Italian roots. Rather, individually, they set forth for Italy to root themselves. I know – my own daughter has done so.
What follows is a series of vignettes of the lives of English women writers shaped by Italy. Apart from marvelling at the bella libertà these women, in a myriad of ways, found, I have no particular thesis but have allowed myself – and I hope – you -the pleasure of glimpsing a diverting eclectic range of women and of experiences in Italy.
There are two early books by women that piqued my interest. The first, Travels in Italy between the years 1792 and 1798, (published in 1802) is by Mariana Starke, who when she began her Italian travels was 30 years old. Travels in Italy evolved into the first modern guide to the country or, indeed, at least in English, to anywhere. For those who had previously undertaken and written of the Grand Tour had not burdened themselves of the precise – or, doubtless, even a vague – knowledge of the price to be paid for washing petticoats in Pisa, buying wax candles in Venice, asses milk in Tuscany, or hiring carriages in Florence. It took a woman, and a woman conscious of value for money, to gather and set out all these – and a thousand more fascinating details – of life as a traveller. She gives a very lengthy list of the equipment it is necessary to take – from a chamber pot that could be fitted into the well of a coach to a nutmeg grater – and goes into considerable detail about how to get across the Alps – this at a time before Napoleon for his own purposes had constructed a manageable road. She describes what type of coach was suitable and how it had to be taken apart, laden onto mules and its passengers then carried in sedan chairs over the mountain pass by porters. The book covers all the major towns of Italy, giving details of the best lodging houses, restaurants, doctors, dentists, provision merchants, dress makers and tailors, and details of all the principal sights.
Mariana Starke introduced an innovation into travel writing, annotating particular buildings and paintings with exclamation marks to indicate merit – five, I think, for the best. She wanted the visitor, if pressed for time, to select only the best – and set out a daily itinerary in order to ‘prevent Travellers from wasting their time and burdening their memory by a minute survey of what is not particularly interesting, and thereby, perhaps, depriving themselves of leisure to examine what really deserves the closest attention.’ Doesn’t that sound the advice of one who knew what it was to have been dragged around one gallery too many?
In the late 1820s Mariana Starke was taken up by John Murray and wrote for him a guide to the whole Continent – her exclamation mark system being now exchanged for a system of stars. So when you next consult your Egon Ronay or Good Food Guide, it is Mariana Starke you have to thank for inventing the tools of discrimination. [For more on Mariana Starke see here].
My second book is a novel – Anne Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, published in 1794, at a time when Mariana Starke was well into her travels, and which captivated the British reading public – particularly its female portion – painting Italy as picturesquely gothic. The irony is that this romantic view of Italy was shaped by a woman whose continental travels never extended further than Holland and Germany, and then only after the success of her Italian novels. Her landscape descriptions were drawn from travel literature and from the work of mid-17th century Rome-based painters such as Claude Lorraine, Poussin and Salvator Rosa. Her descriptions in turn had an overwhelming influence on the way that Italy was seen by later travellers. Northanger Abbey, published in 1817, is, of course, a delicious parody of her subject matter and style.
Whereas Mariana Starke, having detailed the nitty gritty of passing across the Alps, gives us no description of the scenery, Mrs Radcliffe in Udolpho more than makes up for this. ‘The snow was not yet melted on the summit of Mount Cenis, over which the travellers passed; but Emily [our heroine], as she looked upon its clear lake and extended plain, surrounded by broken cliffs, saw, in imagination, the verdant beauty it would exhibit’ – .’ who may describe her rapture, when, having passed through a sea of vapour, she caught a first view of Italy; when from the ridge of one of those tremendous precipices that hang upon Mount Cenis and guard the entrance of that enchanting country, she looked down through the lower clouds, and, as they floated away, saw the grassy vales of Piedmont at her feet.’ This is Arcadia.’
Whereas Mariana Starke said of Venice only that ‘from its singularity alone [it] highly merits notice’ and that ‘it is less strikingly magnificent than many other cities of Italy‘, in Udolpho ‘nothing could exceed Emily’s admiration on her first view of Venice, with its islets, palaces, and towers rising out of the sea, whose clear surface reflected the tremulous picture in all its colours…the sounds seemed to grow on the air; for so smoothly did the barge glide along, that its motion was not perceivable, and the fairy city appeared approaching to welcome the strangers.’ It was Mrs Radcliffe’s view of Italy as arcadia and fairyland, albeit with a gothic tinge, that inspired the dreams of so many English women travellers in the early 19th century – and it is those who wrote who have immortalized their dreams. However, if these women held Mrs Radcliffe in one metaphorical hand, they held Mariana Starke’s guide book in the other. It was her details, perhaps prosaic then, but utterly fascinating now, that gave a reality to the dream – women could work out how, and how to afford to, to travel to arcadia.
All these features –an appreciation of the gothic and the arcadian and fairyland nature of Italy– resonated through the work and lives of the English women I shall discuss.
Lady Elizabeth Foster
My first vignette is of a woman whose early Italian travels, undertaken in the last quarter of the 18th century, are the stuff of the gothic novel and whose later, 19th-century life, was devoted to uncovering the arcadia of classical Italy. Her whole life is something of a fairy tale. While not a published writer, Lady Elizabeth Foster commended her daily experience to 128 volumes of journals, excerpts of which have been used in recreating both her life and that of her dearest friend, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. A biography of Georgiana has in recent years received almost as much media hype as did the works of Mrs Radcliffe at the end of the 18th century, so some of you may well know something about her life. However, its dramas and excesses pale into insignificance beside those of her ‘Dearest Bess’. Lady Elizabeth’s ‘sweet freedom’ lay in being her loveable, incalcitrant, self-indulgent self and Italy allowed her to be so. She married young but after five years separated from her husband who consequently forbade her to see their two sons, whom she didn’t meet again for a further fourteen years – but who still remained devoted. Returning to England from the marital home in Ireland, she cast her spell on the Devonshire House circle. In fact the circle became a triangle when Lady Elizabeth, while remaining the Duchess’s most intimate friend, in the autumn of 1784 also became the lover of the Duke. Unsurprisingly she soon became pregnant; surprisingly there was no hint of any scandal as she took herself off to Italy, from whence she had only very recently returned. By April 1785, keeping up her diary, which served as a confessional, Lady Elizabeth was in Pisa, Florence, and then Rome, where she wrote ‘Sometimes I look at myself in the glass with pity. Youth, beauty, I see I have; friends I know I have; reputation I still have; and perhaps in two months, friends, fame, life and all future peace may be destroyed and lost for ever to me. If so, my proud soul will never, never return to England –But it was not his fault. Passion has led us both awry – his heart suffers for me I know’. Entries such as this – and there are very many more – would not disgrace a gothic novel.
After a stay in Naples, at the end of June she was accompanied to Ischia by her brother, Jack Hervey, himself something of a rake, who was living a racketty life at the Naples court and, like everybody else, was quite oblivious of her condition. She had thought the island suitably remote and settled there to await the birth, but after a couple of weeks discovered that friends from Naples were coming to the island and that she would no longer be able to conceal her condition – and disgrace. She now revealed her predicament in a letter to her brother, who hastily returned to Ischia and appears to have been entirely supportive, although ‘I could not – dared not name the dear Author of my child’s existence’ Jack told her she would have to leave Ischia and, with her faithful servant, Louis, they set sail for the mainland in an open boat. ‘How calm the Sea is – it scarce is heard as it beats against the rocks, the air is perfum’d with herbs, the sky is clear, at a distance blazes Vesuvius – oh were I happy’.
They landed at Salerno and then travelled to nearby Vietri, a little town now swallowed up in greater Salerno. When, many years ago, I read the following entry from her journal – written over 200 years before that – it made an impression such that I have never forgotten it . ‘With no woman at hand, encumbered by the weight of my child, enfeebled by long ill health, fearing every person I met, and, for the first time in my life, wishing only to hide myself, I arrived at last.’ The place to which brother Jack directed her appears to have been at best a kind of baby farm, at worst a brothel – perhaps a bit of both. Her description of the ‘seraglio’, as she called it, is gothic –run by ‘The Arch-Priest of Lovers, his woman-servant, a coarse, ugly and filthy creature, the doctor (his brother) and his wife, two young girls, pretty enough but weeping all day, the nurse who was to take charge of my child; and some babies which cried from morning to night.’ One wonders quite how it was that it was her brother knew of this place. She passed as Louis’ wife, as a servant’s wife dishonoured by Jack Hervey. A few days later a daughter was born and, as so often in gothic novels, the heroine now showed resilience in a time of extremity. Thinking her attendants quite ignorant, she immediately took care of the new-born baby but then, instead of the usual lying-in period of a month or so, which she had enjoyed after the birth of her previous children, was back on the road after six days, leaving the baby behind, eventually arriving at her brother’s house at Naples. Louis later fetched the baby, Caroline, from Vietri and brought her to Naples – where she was looked after by foster parents. I always thought this a memorably Italian episode.
Georgiana died in 1806 and in 1809 Lady Elizabeth married the Duke. He died in 1811 and in 1815, after peace had returned to Europe, Elizabeth, now Dowager Duchess of Devonshire returned to Italy, living in Rome until her death in 1824, keeping a very elegant salon, packed with diplomats, painters and sculptors. During her earliest visit to Italy in 1784 she had described in her journal, with impressive diligence, the paintings and antiquities she had seen. Now, in this new stage of life, she really did become a lady of letters, commissioning de luxe editions of Virgil and of Horace. She took up antiquities, under the guidance of Cardinal Consalvi, her last love, secretary of state and spy master to Pius VII. Of her excavating, Lady Spencer, the sister-in-law of the first Duchess, wrote ‘That Witch of Endor the Duchess of Devon has been doing mischief of another kind to what she has been doing all her life by pretending to dig for the public good in the Forum’. Mrs Charlotte Ann Eaton, who had travelled to Italy with her brother and sister and published her observations in 1820 as Rome in the Nineteenth Century, commented apropos the reclamation of the Forum, ‘the English, as far as I see, are at present the most active excavators. There is the Duchess of D— at work in one corner, and the Pope, moved by a spirit of emulation, digging away in another’. Italy had certainly allowed Lady Elizabeth the freedom to develop in ways she found unconventionally satisfying.
Charlotte Eaton’s sister, Jane Waldie, also published her description of their journey, albeit with a different publisher, and her enthusiasm still leaps off the page – when ‘the dome of St Peter’s burst on our view in the midst of the Campagna. Unable any longer to restrain ourselves, we leaped out of the carriage and ran up a bank by the road-side. Never, oh, never, shall I forget the emotions with which I gazed on this prospect! That Rome itself should really be before me seemed so incredible, that my mind could scarcely take in the fact.’ She and Charlotte stayed first at the Hotel de Paris in the Via della Croce, which runs off the Piazza di Spagna in the heart of the ‘English’ quarter, but didn’t remain there long – on the second night of their stay the chimney of one of their apartments took fire and they moved to lodgings in the Corso. [For more about Charlotte Eaton see here and here.]
In fact the Hotel de Paris, or Villa di Parigi or Albergo di Parigi as they variously term it, provided shelter to a series of our English women writers over the next 20 years. [For more about the Hotel see here.] It is slightly surreal to see their shades slipping into bed, one after the other, under this one Roman roof. Amusingly all commented on the indifference of its facilities. It was at the Villa di Parigi in the summer of 1819, while the Duchess of Devonshire, the sole survivor of her menage à trois, was still digging in the Forum, that another interesting trio took up abode in Rome. Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary, daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, were accompanied by Mary’s step-sister, Claire Clairmont. All three sought inspiration from Italy and freedom from censure and their past –which was already gothic both in life (Mary’s half-sister, Fanny, and Shelley’s wife, Harriet, had both recently committed suicide) – and literature – Mary Shelley had just published Frankenstein. The drama of their stay in Italy was to be remorseless.
Claire Clairemont, who had devoured Mrs Radcliffe in her exhaustingly wide-ranging reading, wrote in her journal of the descent from Mont Cenis that ‘The primroses are scattered everywhere. The fruit trees covered with the richest blossoms which scented the air as we passed. A sky without one cloud – everything bright and serene – the cloudless Sky of Italy – the bright and the beautiful’. Thus she entered Arcadia. But with Shelley and Mary, and their two young children, William and Clara, she was travelling to hand over her daughter, born the previous year when she was 19, to the child’s father, Lord Byron. This was done in April 1818, at Venice, and in August she received permission from Byron to visit the child. She persuaded Shelley and Mary to accompany her, although Mary was very reluctant because baby Clara was unwell, To Mary’s great grief, as soon as they arrived in Venice, Clara died. ‘Sweet freedom’ was not without its dangers – the story of English women in Italy is littered with lost or dead babies. The mother with a secret and – often related – the orphan – are recurring themes in gothic novels.
The Shelley party later travelled to Rome and the Villa di Parigi. Claire appears, like all good travellers, to have been planning a book about Rome. Mary, who in the 1840s did publish a book on her later Italian travels, also at this time recorded her impressions of the city, ‘The other night we visited the Pantheon by moon light and saw the lovely sight of the moon appearing through the round aperture above and Lighting the columns of the Rotunda with its rays…’ But there was little time for sight seeing – tragedy had not done with them. On 7 June, despite having moved from the Villa di Parigi to an apartment at the top of the Spanish Steps, where the air was thought to be less malarial, the Shelleys’ two-year old son, William, died of Roman fever and was subsequently buried in the Protestant cemetery. He is a doubly lost English baby because when, all too soon, his grave was unearthed in order to bury him near his father, the grave marked as his was found to contain not a baby but the remains of an adult. The year after William’s death Mary wrote a verse drama for children, heartrending when one knows what she had recently suffered. It is, what else, but Proserpine’ – filled with Ceres’ anguished search – ‘Where is my daughter? Have I aught to dread? Where does she stray..I fear my child is lost’. Two years later Claire’s daughter, Allegra, died, a five- year old banished by her father to a convent, bereft of her mother’s care – and a couple of months after that Shelley was drowned off the Ligurian coast.
Mary remained in Italy until 1823 but was back in England when, in 1826, she proposed writing a review article based on a handful of books that had recently been published by English writers about Italy. One of the books she reviewed was The Diary of an Ennuyée, published anonymously and purporting to be the diary of a young governess, travelling in Italy with her charge, but broken-hearted, having left a shattered romance behind in England. Indeed so broken-hearted was she that at the end she goes to her grave. However, although there was much that was true in the book, its author, then Anna Murphy, but who, soon after her return to England, became Mrs Anna Jameson, had not in fact died, but was at the very beginning of a long and distinguished writing career, in which Italy played a central part. Indeed the Diary of an Ennuyée, in the intervals between anguished breast-beatings, serves as a very detailed guidebook to Italy, particularly Rome. A guidebook, admittedly, that veers more towards Mrs Radcliffe than Mariana Starke. It contains little in the way of practical details, such as routes and prices, but her descriptions do have the merit of being based on personal observation.
Anna Murphy’s first day in Rome strikes as true a note as did Jane Waldie’s description of her arrival: ‘The day arose as beautiful, as brilliant, as cloudless, as I could have desired for the first day in Rome. About seven o’clock, and before any one was ready for breakfast, I walked out; and directed my steps by mere chance to the left, found myself in the Piazza di Spagna and opposite to a gigantic flight of marble stairs leading to the top of a hill. I was at the summit in a moment; and breathless and agitated by a thousand feelings, I leaned against the obelisk, and looked over the whole city.’ She was here standing a few yards away from where young William Shelley had died barely five years previously. And, yes, her party was staying at the Albergo di Parigi.
Having spent an adventurous 20 or so years – she travelled extensively around north America and Canada, having ditched her alcoholic husband, and earning a living through her writing – Anna Jameson returned to Italy in 1846 under rather romantic circumstances. It was she who conducted Mr and Mrs Browning from Paris to Pisa. She was as surprised as the rest of the world at the Browning marriage. When she was contacted in Paris she had only a few days previously bade farewell to her friend Elizabeth Barrett in Wimpole Street, having no inkling of the planned elopement. Anna was on her way to Italy to research a new book, Sacred and Legendary Art, and was delighted to act as courier for the impractical pair. From Paris she wrote to her sister ‘I have also here a poet and a poetess – two celebrities who have run away and married under circumstances peculiarly interesting, and such as render imprudence the height of prudence. Both excellent; but God help them! for I know not how the two poet heads and poet hearts will get on through this prosaic world.’. She later commented that the elopement ‘was as delightful as unexpected, and gave an excitement to our journey which was already like a journey into the old world of enchantment – a revival of fairyland.’
Italy indeed had a magical effect on Elizabeth Browning. While on the journey Mrs Jameson wrote to her sister from Avignon ‘Our poor invalid has suffered greatly, often fainting and often so tired that we have been obliged to remain a whole day to rest at some wretched place..’ But as Flush noted (courtesy of Virginia Woolf), after their arrival in Pisa ‘she was a different person altogether. Now, for instance, instead of sipping a thimbleful of port and complaining of the headache, she tossed off a tumbler of Chianti and slept the sounder..Then instead of driving in a barouche landau to Regent’s Park she pulled on her thick boots and scrambled over rocks. Instead of sitting in a carriage and rumbling along Oxford street, they rattled off in a ramshackle fly to the borders of a lake and looked at mountains…Here in Italy was freedom and life and the joy that the sun breeds.’ Indeed, breeding began as soon as she reached Pisa, although she miscarried five months later. Rather than lamenting this loss, she was very proud of having been pregnant at all. After a recuperating stay in Pisa, a city that had for many years been host to an interesting, rather Bohemian English set, all escaping one thing or another, the Brownings travelled on to Florence in the summer of 1847, eventually moving into an apartment in Casa Guidi.
It was here in Florence, having never previously been particularly interested in national politics – although she had long been concerned with social reform – that Elizabeth took up the cause of Italian freedom. On a more prosaic level for the first time she was able to experience other aspects of her freedom – she furnished her first home and in 1849, following a second miscarriage – and when she was 43 years old – she gave birth to a son.
Two years later, in 1851, she published Under Casa Guidi Windows, in which she charts her initial optimism that the newly awakened liberal movements would result in the freedom and unification of the Italian states and, then, her disillusionment when the movement was crushed. Biographers have suggested that she equated the oppression of the Italian people (most of Italy was then under Austrian rule) with that of her father against her. Whether or not there is any truth in this analogy – it has a rather depressingly contrived feel – there were other English women – some of whom had certainly grown up happily in the bosom of supportive families – who were also intensely interested in the cause of Italian freedom.
One such was Jessie White, born in Gosport in Hampshire where her father had a ship building firm, and who i 1854, when she was 22, met Garibaldi in London. She was no conventional young lady, having already studied for a time in Paris and was at this time writing for Eliza Cook’s Journal, a London-based feminist publication. Garibaldi fired her with enthusiasm and she travelled to Italy, where she met Mazzini and became a disciple.
Mazzini appears to have had this effect on women –at least on English women. Another of his devotees was Emilia Ashurst, known at this stage of her life as Mrs Sidney Hawkes, a member of a London family all of whom involved themselves in the radical causes of the day. When Jessie White returned to England in 1855, she met Emilie, who had already had many Italian adventures. Besides acting as his secret agent Emilie wrote a memoir of Mazzini and translated his works into English. She was also an artist and a copy of her portrait of Mazzini, enigmatically labelled as by ‘E. Hawkes’, is on display in the Museo di Risorgimento, housed inside the Victor Emmanuel monument in Rome. It struck me when I saw it that, as visitors drifted past it year after year, there could hardly be among them anybody who would realize that behind this painting lay an Englishwoman’s deep commitment to Italy. Emilie separated from Hawkes and later married Carlo Venturi, a Venetian patriot, who proved an altogether more satisfying husband.
Jessie White, too, wished to give practical aid to Italy. She thought she would train as a doctor in England, but, as a woman, she was refused admittance to medical school, and she settled on offering herself as a nurse to the Italians and also, as had Emilie Venturi, concentrated on translating Italian works of propaganda and writing articles for the English press. In 1857 she took part in an uprising led by Mazzini and was arrested and imprisoned. In prison she met Alberto Mario, like Venturi a handsome Venetian, whom, on their release, she married. In the early 1860s, with her husband, she followed Garibaldi and his men, nursing the sick – for most of the time the only woman attached to the campaign. From 1866 until her death in 1906 Jessie White Mario, as Italian correspondent of the Nation, analysed Italy for American and English readers. She travelled all round Italy in search of material for articles and is now esteemed in Italy as one of the first of its investigative reporters, writing about economic developments and social conditions – especially in the south –her writing forceful in detail, vivid and vigorous. When she died in 1906 one paper connected two Anglo-Italian patriots, specifically remarking that her funeral procession in Florence, ‘passed the Casa Guidi, which was decorated in honour of the centenary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’.
Amongst the artefacts now displayed in Casa Guidi is a cast of the clasped hands of Robert and Elizabeth Browning. The sculptor of this incarnation of romance was a young American woman, Harriet Hosmer. Harriet had lived and worked in Rome since 1852, part of a group of ‘jolly female bachelors’ that clustered around the overpowering personality of the American actress, Charlotte Cushman. After meeting Charlotte with her companion, Matilda Hays, Elizabeth Barrett Browning had written to her sisters ‘I understand that she and Miss Hays have made vows of celibacy and of eternal attachment to each other – they live together, dress alike …it is a female marriage’. A photograph of the two women certainly shows them dressed alike, skirts topped by tailored shirts and jackets. Matilda, who preferred to be known as ‘Max’, is lean and saturnine. She was a novelist, who in 1847 had, with Emilie Venturi’s elder sister, Eliza Ashurst, embarked on the daring project of translating the works of George Sand. When she and Charlotte arrived in Rome they were looking for freedom from the social constraints imposed in America and England. Charlotte wrote that in Rome ‘the Mrs Grundies [are] so scarce, [and] the artist society ..so nice, that it is hard to choose or find any other place so attractive’. They spent most of the next five years or so in Rome – during the winter and spring of 1856 to 1857 Anna Jameson was part of their circle. But the Hays/Cushman female marriage was volatile and in 1857 came to a violent end – swearing certainly and, fisticuffs, possibly, were involved – and Matilda was forced to leave Rome.
Nine years later she published a novel, Adrienne Hope, in which she painted a very lifelike picture of Roman life as experienced by the expatriate English. Her main protagonists live in what was clearly the apartment in the via Gregoriana, along from the top of the Spanish Steps, in which she had lived with Charlotte: ‘a suite of rooms on the fourth piano, beneath the windows of which Rome lay extended like a panorama… There lies the Queen City of the World, with its quaint, irregular, grey roofs, its 364 churches, its noble pagan temples and imperial palaces, noble in their ruin and decay, basking through the day in the undimmed lustre of an Italian sun, to be glorified by its setting rays of gold, and crimson, and purple, the depth and richness of whose hues none who have not seen can by any means imagine, and none who have seen can ever forget.’ [For more about Matilda Hays and Adrienne Hope see here.]
Although Rome was at this time the centre for artistic training there was from the mid-19th century a revived interest in medieval Italy as inspiration for both art and literature. Tuscany in general and Florence in particular was the mecca for English devotees. One such arrival was Louise de la Ramée, who wrote under the pen name Ouida. She had already had considerable success and had made a considerable amount of money from her sensational novels. Having found her life in Bury St Edmunds insufficiently exciting she left England for Florence, where she quickly fell in love with a neighbour, the Marchese della Stuffa, for whom she felt all the passion that she had previously only been able to allow to her heroines. However, what she didn’t for a long time realise was that the Marchese was already spoken for – he had for several years been the ‘cavalier servante’ of Mrs Janet Ross – queen bee of the English circle in Florence. As her biographer put it. ‘Soon there was open enmity between Ouida and Mrs Ross, each fiercely resenting what she considered the other’s preposterous tendency to behave as if della Stufa were her property. Both were women of strong character, Mrs Ross the more domineering, Ouida the more impassioned’.
Ouida took up what she considered was her best weapon – her pen -and wrote a roman a clef based on this intriguing triangle – entitling it with the mot just – ‘Friendship’. When one knows something of the background, it makes a very good read. She describes Mrs Ross in the character of Lady Joan as ‘ a faggot of contradictions; extraordinarily ignorant, but naturally intelligent; audacious yet timid; a bully, but a coward; full of hot passions, but with cold fits of prudence.. She had a bright, firm, imposing way of declaring her opinions infallible that went far towards making others believe them so .’ Her own character was quite the reverse – all modesty and balm, ‘She gave him a yellow rose from a cluster that she had been placing in water as he had entered; there was tea standing near her on a little Japanese stand; she poured him out a cup, and brought it to him by the hearth; he followed all her movements with a sense of content and peace. As she tendered him the little cup, his fingers caressed hers, and as he drew the cup away, his lips lingered on her wrist. She coloured and left him.’
Her friends begged her not to publish it – the Ross side threatened a libel suit. Eight years later a reviewer wrote: ‘Italy was destined to do more for Ouida, as an artist, in a larger sense of the word, than to satisfy her ideal of the beautiful in landscape. An experience was reserved for her there, or more probably, a series of experiences, which vastly enlarged her knowledge of living men and women’.
Janet Ross was a member of a family of strong-minded women. In 1888 she and her husband bought a castle near Settignagno. In her memoirs she recounts her investigation of its history and its reclamation, describing for instance ‘having hateful French wallpaper scraped off the walls and having them washed a light grey stone colour – to the dismay of the workmen’ – so like all the villas in Tuscany idylls, where the jarring contemporary is erased in order to reclaim the peace of the past. Forging the path that so many later have followed she wrote a cookery book, Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen. Those intimate with the Ross household later made clear that, of course Mrs Ross never needed to concern herself with the workings of the kitchen – and her cook, who prided himself on being able to produce more than the cookery of the region, had provided her with recipes that were, as a result, by no means authentically Tuscan. The commission for the book had, in the first instance, come from J.M. Dent to Janet Ross’s young niece, Lina, who, however, thought a cookery book dull work and preferred another commission, The Story Of Assissi. For the same ‘Medieval Towns’ series Janet Ross wrote The Story of Pisa and Lina’s friend, Margaret Symonds, The Story of Perugia.
Lina married an artist, Aubrey Waterfield, and in 1905 they bought their own castle, Fortezza della Brunella, near Carrara. Three years later Lina wrote Home Life in Italy, describing, in her turn, how they had made their castle habitable, and writing about their servants and local customs. The castle sounds magical: ‘As the evening draws in, wisps of clouds become suffused with a lustre of rose-purple and gold, to fade with the light to the colour of a Florentine iris. How often have I not returned home dazed by it all, and reached the drawbridge just as the birds were settling to rest with a great flutter and commotion among the ilexes in the moat..’ In 1917 she was one of the founders of the British Institute at Florence, which has subsequently served as an easy escape route into Italy for England’s well-heeled youth. From 1921 until 1939 Lina Waterfield was Italian correspondent for the Observer, speaking out firmly against Mussolini. That life at Fortezza della Brunella was for a child the embodiment of arcadia is set out in the memoir, A Tuscan Childhood, written by Lina’s daughter, Kinta Beevor, and published in the 1980s. Thus three English women of one family have between them recorded 100 years of Tuscan life.
At the same time as the Waterfields were restoring their castle, another English woman, Georgina Graham was living near Carrara, enjoying life in Italy and writing of it In a Tuscan Garden. Rather than a horticultural treatise this was in essence a guide for those wishing to move to Italy. ‘The ideal condition of residence is to have the home in England, and to be able to leave it for the winter or spring months… But when that ideal is beyond attainment, and when one has to choose a place of exile, Italy appears to me, taking it all round, to afford greater compensations than any other country.. Before settling in Tuscany, I had heard the remark that English society in Florence was for the most part so unpleasant, that every one did his best to keep out of it, and that if you wished to make a mortal enemy, you had only to offer to introduce one person to another.’. Doubtless the standoff between Mrs Ross and Ouida had many lesser emulators.
Mrs Graham continues, evoking the Florence of A Room with a View: ‘Nowadays Florence may be said to be one vast pension, it was totally different when I first knew it in the sixties; such places hardly existed then, and if they had, the class of English visitors of that day would not have gone into them. Many of them were badly off –; but it would not have occurred to them to herd with other people.’ Describing how easy it is to rent rooms for the long term, she comments: ‘It is astonishing how many Englishwomen of small means there are living here in respectability, and comfort in their own small etage, who, if in London, would be in comfortless suburban lodgings, in two rooms in one of those “ladies’ flats” to which all sorts of drawbacks and restrictions are attached. In Florence everything lends itself to their independence.’ Georgina Graham relates that she was seized with ‘Italy Fever’ back in the 1860s but that as time has passed ‘a long residence in Italy gives an intimate knowledge of her people, her standards, and her morale generally, under the influence of which the poetry becomes less prominent, and what may be called the seamy side is apt to be painfully to the front. But in spite of all, to those who have once yielded to its charm, it ever remains the enchanted land.’
This ‘Italy Fever’ had doubtless seized many of the women who were not so fortunate as Mrs Graham in finding themselves enjoying a large Tuscan villa and garden but, as she describes, happily occupied a room or two in Florence, with or without a view. I have been struck by the number of books that were published about Tuscany by women writers at the turn of the 20th century, including a couple by a woman of whom I had never before heard. One was Scenes and Shrines, written by Dorothy Nevile Lees, who had been born in Wolverhampton to a reasonably prosperous family. In 1903, aged 23, gripped by Italian fever, inspired by the poetry of Byron and Shelley, she left Wolverhampton and travelled alone to Florence. At the opening of Scenes and Shrines she recounts how ‘ I passed the great mountain gates which bar the way to Italy, the enchanted land of my childish imaginings, the Mecca of my dreams.’ In order to learn Italian as quickly as possible she chose to board with a middle-class Florentine family and plunged with a will into Italian life.
Both Scenes and Shrines and a second book, Tuscan Feasts and Tuscan Friends, were published in the same year, 1907, and were probably the result of collecting together articles that she had already had published in the English press. Tuscan Feasts opens with a hymn to her new land ‘ O Italy, my land of Heart’s Desire/No Paradise could be more fair than thou’, and the finding of her dream villa. ‘The Villa strictly speaking, was not beautiful; its time-stained plastered walls, its lofty height, its heavily-barred windows were a little gaunt and forbidding; and yet, as I stepped down from the carriage, I felt instinctively that I had found the place of dreams and peace’. If Dorothy Nevile Lees had been of our time she would have been a participant in ‘A Place in the Sun’ – making a television programme about her new Tuscan life.
I then discovered that in 1907 Dorothy Nevile Lees met Edward Gordon Craig, theatrical director, stage designer, son of Ellen Terry, married man and father, and, clearly, a great charmer, and that from 1908 until it folded in 1929 she was the editorial mainstay of his theatrical magazine, The Mask. She lived all this time in Florence – while Craig travelled the world – he went through a couple of marriages, and several affairs – including one with Isadora Duncan (by whom he had two children). In 1917 Dorothy herself had a son, David, by him, the existence of whom Craig was very keen to keep quiet – so quiet indeed that his entry in the new ODNB makes no mention whatsoever of Dorothy Nevile Lees or her son (although conceding that Craig had many children). It is clear Craig did what he could to ensure that David Lees, who in fact became an internationally-renowned photographer, would become another of England’s children lost in Italy. In 1935 Dorothy heard that Craig had denied that he was David’s father. When she commented on this, by way of reply he counselled her ‘not to blab’.
Dorothy Nevile Lees, clearly a woman of independent spirit, remained in Florence during the Second World War, shielding Craig’s archive from the Nazis, despite an office raid, and eventually giving the British Institute in Florence a collection of his theatrical material. One cannot know what she had really expected when she arrived as she had put it, in ‘the Mecca of my dreams’, but she had certainly carved out for herself an interesting life, one unlikely to have been her fate in Wolverhampton. [For more about Dorothy Lees see here.]
Life in a Tuscan villa in the years before the Second World War and then in wartime Florence falls to the lot of Fenny, the creation of Lettice Cooper, whose eponymous novel, Fenny, was published in 1953. I don’t know enough of Lettice Cooper to know what part Italy played in her life, but the loving description of her heroine’s enjoyment of her surroundings at least suggest that the author relished her research. Fenny is not the chatelaine of the villa – that character is a spoilt and wilful Englishwoman – but Ellen Fenwick, who until shortly before the opening of the novel, which begins in 1933, is a teacher in an English girls’ high school and is then invited to Tuscany as a governess. One can imagine her background as not unlike that of Dorothy Nevile Lees. When she arrived at the villa Fenny considered life within its grounds as paradise –she really does say ‘When I first arrived her I thought I’d got into a house in a fairy-tale’ – a very suitable romance follows but it is stifled by the lady of the house – Fenny later copes with the war – and ensures that her much loved pupil will not suffer as she suffered. A conventional enough plot, lovingly told against the backdrop of Italian life and landscape. The novel ends with Fenny saying to the young boy she has rescued from the disasters of war, ‘All right, Dino! We’ll go to Rome.’
And it was to Rome in the year of Fenny’s publication that the novelist Elizabeth Bowen went, sponsored by the British Council. She had made many previous visits, but her husband had recently died and she made this extended stay the occasion of specific research for her book, A Time in Rome. I love this book. I love the way she explains how she got to grips with the city –‘My object was to walk it into my head and (this time) keep it there.’ I love the way she is alone as she does this (or at least appears to be alone) – I like the idea of the solitary walker –the observer. And I love this sentence she wrote early on in the book; ‘To talk of “entering” the past is nonsense, but one can be entered by it, to a degree.’ The book’s final sentences even on re-reading are still affecting. ‘Only from the train as it moved out did I look at Rome. Backs of houses I had not ever seen before wavered into mists, stinging my eyes. My darling, my darling, my darling. Here we have no abiding city.’
Through the second half of the 20th and into the 21st century women have still relished the challenge of reshaping a life in Italy. And as in the 18th and 19th centuries, writing still offers the possibility of earning a living and a new and interesting locality provides possible material for the writing. Detective fiction, blending social observation and deduction/intuition, has proved a successful genre for women writers; an exotic locality gilds the lily. The best-known woman writer of English-language Italian detective fiction is Donna Leon, whose policeman, Guido Brunetti, is the epitome of Venetian suavity and good humour. However Donna Leon, although an intriguing woman, is an American and doesn’t qualify for discussion today.
But while thinking of women writers and detection in Venice I must mention in passing Sarah Caudwell – the pen name of Sarah Cockburn –now, alas, dead – who led a life of bella libertà. She was a charming and scatty, pipe-smoking lawyer who wrote four witty detective novels, the first, Thus Was Adonis Murdered, set in Venice. While I am sure Sarah enjoyed complete freedom at all times and didn’t need to go to Venice to find it, it was assumed by those who knew her that an opportunity to foster close acquaintance with young Venetian men made her research all the sweeter.
Magdalen Nabb, an English writer of detective fiction, has, like Donna Leon, created an Italian policeman. Her central character is Marshal Guarnaccia and she has posted him in Florence, close to the Pitti Palace. All I know of Magdalen Nabb is what is revealed on her book jackets – but in its bare outline it is the epitome of the ideal life of the English women writer in Italy. ‘She was born in Lancashire in 1947 and trained as a potter. In 1975 she abandoned pottery, sold her home and her car, and went to Florence with her son, knowing nobody and speaking no Italian’. When she wrote the first of what are now 12 books in her detective series she was living in an apartment in Casa Guidi. Indeed I first came across her novels while staying there myself, in the Brownings’ drawing room, in the Library supplied by the Landmark Trust.
Another English writer, who has written at least one thriller with an Italian setting, and who has also taken root in Florence, is Sarah Dunant. She has described in an interview how, after the break up of a relationship, she thought life needed a radical change – and so bought a flat in Florence. She holds the city responsible for her own personal renaissance and it, naturally, became the setting for The Birth of Venus, a novel that I am sure is selling very well and ensuring her a comfortable Florentine life. [The Birth of Venus was the only one of Sarah Dunant’s Italian novels published when I gave the talk – but she has written more since – see here.]
As well as being the setting for detective stories, which I could perhaps tie into my gothic theme, Italy has also provided the setting for a number of contemporary arcadian or fairyland novels. In these authors have gathered together a group of disparate characters and allowed enchantment of one kind or another to work on them. In Enchanted April, published in 1923, Elizabeth von Arnim describes in loving detail (detail so easily translated into a gentle film) how four women, previously unknown to each other, rent a castle on Italy’s Ligurian coast, overlooking the bay where Shelley drowned, and find themselves and happiness.
Amanda Craig’s Love in Idleness cleverly and amusingly reworks A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in the setting of a houseparty in a Tuscan villa, effortlessly evoking the magic suspension of reality that overtakes her characters. ‘The heat intensified. At night the house creaked and whispered, so that they woke to confusion, climbing out of their dreams on the ladder of light cast by the shutters, excited, ashamed, frustrated. During the day each person became more and more enervated, yet also more relaxed.’
A similar atmosphere of shimmering heat and long shuttered siestas, interspersed with bursts of uncharacteristic behaviour, is what I remember of The Italian Lesson, a 1985 novel by Janice Elliott. Again a group, most previously unknown to each other, gathers for a holiday – this time in a restored castle a few miles outside Florence. William, one of the central characters, has for years been researching a monograph on E.M. Forster and Italy and the novel is intertwined with Forsterian allusions. His wife is recovering from a still birth and in the course of the novel another baby is carelessly lost to death, its fate an echo of the bronzed baby in Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread, and an echo of all those others that have been lost in Italy – in both fact and fiction.
I shall end this talk in Venice, Mrs Radcliffe’s ‘fairy city’, with Julia Garnet, the creation of Salley Vickers, who will give the First Persephone Annual lecture on the 5th October, discussing Miss Garnet alongside Persephone’s Miss Pettigrew and Miss Ranskill. I am very fond of Miss Garnet, who is the epitome of all the women whom we have encountered today. One can, in fact, imagine that Julia Garnet is what Fenny would have become if she had not been transported to Tuscany in her youth. For Julia Garnet came to Venice only on her retirement from teaching and there found the angel that was to guide her to the next world. Like Elizabeth Bowen, she walks the city into her head, transformed by it – ‘Venice has changed me’ she thought. We can see that Julia Garnet, while remaining essentially herself, has changed – her emotions and understanding expanded, Venice and the people she found there, Anglo-American as well as Italians, having worked their magic. As in so many novels that centre on Venice the cast of characters includes art historians and art restorers and I will leave you with a glimpse of this –the handwritten diary of a young Englishwoman, which details a three-month stay in Venice, where she was taking an art history course [Note: this diary was an item that I had in my book dealing stock at the time]. This was in 1986 – exactly 200 years after Lady Elizabeth Forster wrote up her Italian diary. What this young woman puts on paper is equally self-regarding, sprawling and observant – it could be raw material for a novel – a romance, a romantic comedy, a detective novel, or even, perhaps, a tragedy. The writer is anonymous –– although I suppose there are sufficient clues scattered throughout that would enable her identity to be discovered. But let her remain anonymous, her experience in Italy in the mid 1980s merely a contemporary version – factor in drugs, sex and rock and roll – of the bella libertà enjoyed by all our English women writing in Italy – her refrain, like that of all the others, is: ‘I never want to go back to England.’
Suffrage Stories: House Decorating and Suffrage: Annie Atherton, Kate Thornbury, And The Society of Artists
In Suffrage Stories: ‘Home Art Decorator’ To The Queen – And The ‘Human Letter’ – I told the story of Charlotte Robinson, her sister, Epsey McClelland, and her niece, Elspeth McClelland. I have now been alerted to the existence of another of Charlotte’s sisters, Mrs Anne Atherton, who also worked in the art world – as the co-founder of the Society of Artists. In my rummaging around I had come across mention of this ‘Society’, which operated from premises in New Bond Street, London, but had not made the connection to Charlotte Robinson and Epsey McClelland.
Anne Elizabeth Robinson was born in Settle, Yorkshire, in 1849. Known as ‘Annie’, she was the fourth child of Henry Robinson and his wife, Elspet, two years younger than Epsey and nearly ten years older than Charlotte. I can discover nothing of her life before her marriage in 1870 to Francis Henry Atherton. The son of a solicitor, he had been born in Wiltshire in 1840 and was, therefore, about ten years her elder. I presume that until her marriage Anne had lived at home in Yorkshire, but after their marriage the couple disappear. I cannot find them on the 1871 census and have only caught up again with Annie Atherton in 1881 when she was living at 103 Warwick Road, Paddington, with her sister Epsey McClelland, her brother-in-law (John McClelland, an accountant) and a visitor, Kate Thornbury. Epsey and Anne are each described as ‘Artist (Painter)’ and Kate Thornbury is ‘Secretary’. In fact Kate Thornbury was secretary to the Central Committee of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage from 1877-c. April 1881.
I don’t know when the Atherton marriage broke down. From later evidence I know that Francis Atherton was a mining prospector and it may be that he and Anne were living abroad in 1871, hence their absence from the census. But at some point Annie Atherton returned to England (if she had indeed been away) and entered into a close friendship with Kate Thornbury that was to last the rest of their lives.
According to Annie Atherton’s obituary (The Suffragette, 28 November 1913), she and Kate Thornbury had founded the Society of Artists thirty-two years earlier –that is, in 1881 – perhaps around the time that Kate left her position as secretary to the suffrage society. However in 1887 (in a letter published in the Pall Mall Gazette – see below) Kate dated the formation of the Society to 1883 and it would, perhaps, be sensible to accept this as the correct date. The couple took premises for the business at a very good Mayfair address – 53 New Bond Street – and remained there – and then at no. 52 -until 1914. No. 53 is now occupied by Dolce and Gabbana – and, from the look of it, the façade of the building may well be much the same now as it was in the 1880s. In 1886 Kate Thornbury was also working as secretary to the Froebel Society from no. 53.
It is difficult to discover the exact nature of the Society of Artists. It doesn’t appear to have been a Society in the sense of having members, rather it offered premises in which artists could exhibit. All the reports of exhibitions that I can find are of work by women. Moreover the ‘work’ was usually of a ‘craft’ nature, not fine art. It would also appear that the Society of Artists operated, at some level, as a house decorating business, competing in the same field as Annie’s sisters, Charlotte Robinson and Epsey McClelland.
I sense that the relationship between the two establishments, the Society of Artists and that of Charlotte Robinson, was, for a time at least, not entirely harmonious – for the 27 December 1887 issue of the Pall Mall Gazette carries a letter from Kate Thornbury in response to ‘Ladies as Shopkeepers’, the article by Emily Faithfull that had appeared in the previous week’s issue (for more on this article see Suffrage Stories: ‘Home Art Decorator’ To The Queen – And The ‘Human Letter‘). Kate Thornbury expresses her ’great astonishment [that she found in this article] no mention whatever of Miss Robinson’s elder sister Mrs Atherton, who, as Miss Faithfull is well aware, had started a large business under her own superintendence in New Bond Street, London, under the title of the Society of Artists, for the sale of all kinds of artistic work, house decoration &, in the year 1883. Mrs Atherton it was who first braved ‘that bugbear which terrifies most women – the loss of social status’ and the great success which attended (and still attends) her venue induced Miss Robinson twelve months afterwards to open a similar business in Manchester, under the same name. In Miss Faithfull’s zeal for the prestige of the younger sister with whose success she is identified , she has shown a strange forgetfulness of Mrs Atherton’s claim as the originator of the movement which finds such merit in Miss Faithfull’s eyes.’
Armed with the information that Charlotte Robinson’s business in Manchester traded, at least initially, under the name the ‘Society of Artists’, I have now found corroboration in the form of a report (Manchester Courier, 30 March 1886) which, when referring to the fact that Charlotte Robinson was setting up a type-writing office in the city, mentions that she was ‘well known in connection with the Society of Artists’. One would have thought that there must have been some agreement with Annie Atherton and Kate Thornbury that allowed Charlotte to use their business name, but, three years or so later, the letter betrays a distinct note of rancour, aimed perhaps more at Emily Faithfull than at Annie’s younger sister.
Descriptions of the actual work exhibited by the Society of Artists are rather scant. This, from The St James’ Gazette, 7 April 1898, is one of the more forthcoming, describing how poker-work photograph frames ‘in straight bands of vivid colours – red, yellow and green – set amidst the dark poker-work..and beaten pewter and copper frames make much pleasanter Easter gifts than the usual flimsy eccentricities sold for such. The society has also the most delightful green ware to match its green furniture. It’s very pleasant to house one’s frocks, one’s candles, one’s flowers and plants all in the same harmonious tone of green.’ Well, there’s not much to choose between this artless prose and that of today’s house magazines (which, incidentally, I love, while laughing at their writing style). A report of an exhibition organised by the Society of Artists in Aberdeen in 1888 described their wares as ‘decorative novelties’, which seems a fair summary.
I have found only two clear indications that the Society of Artists was involved in house decoration. In its issue of 19 December 1904 the Derby Daily Telegraph mentioned that Elspeth McClelland was, most unusually for a young woman, studying architecture at the Polytechnic in London and that ‘she has occupied a post as a designer at a large firm of decorators, known as the Society of Artists.’ So, any rancour that may have existed between the Robinson sisters in the 1880s had long since been forgotten and in the new century the Society of Artists had welcomed Annie Atherton’s niece, Elspeth, as a member of its team.
The second reference comes nine years later when the Pall Mall Gazette (10 November 1913) reported that ‘a well-known Princess who is fitting up a “lordly pleasure-house” for herself in the neighbourhood of the Bois de Boulogne, has given the internal decoration into the hands of the Society of Artists. The society has an excellent habit of collecting ancient beams and panelling, and the Princess’s Parisian mansion is being transformed into an old English manor-house, after the fashion of Haddon House. In the Princess’s house there are to be great open fireplaces, panelled walls, and an entirely new wooden staircase is being put in.’ The next paragraph refers to the work of a woman architect, Mrs Elspeth Spencer (née McClelland), this juxtaposition making me wonder if she could have been involved with the Parisian project. Annie Atherton had just died and Kate Thornbury was 65 years old – was the younger generation now directing the work of the Society of Artists?
For years Annie and Kate had a London address, 12 Horbury Crescent, Kensington, and for a time had a country cottage at Peaslake in Surrey – the 1891 census found them living there in the quaintly named ‘Jottel [??] Hutte’. Annie Atherton is ‘head of household, Kate is ‘Friend’ and they had a young local girl as a servant. However by 1901 they had left arts-and-craftsy Peaslake for a house in Shire Lane, Chorleywood. This house was, rather charmingly, named ‘Chums’, which might speak something of how they saw their relationship. In the 1901 census Anne is given as ‘head of household’ and Kate as ‘joint owner’, while they are both described as ‘artists’. Their next-door-but- one neighbour on one side was Charles Voysey, who lived until 1906 in ‘The Orchard’, the arts-and-crafts house that he had built in 1899 for his family, while on their other side lived another architect, Charles Simmonds. At the very least Annie and Kate must have known Voysey on a social level but I wonder if their ‘decorative novelties’, while ‘craft’, would have appealed to his spare ‘Arts and Crafts’ sensibility.
In 1911 both Annie and Kate boycotted the census. The Registrar completed their form, recording their relationship as ‘sisters’ and knowing enough to describe Annie’s occupation as ‘Society of Artists’. Across the form is written ‘No Votes No Census. When women become citizens they will fulfill the duties of citizens.’
On the 1881 and 1891 censuses Annie Atherton gives her status as ‘married’ and by 1901 as ‘widowed’. However on her death in 1913 the Probate Register describes her as ‘wife of Frank Atherton’ – and that seems to have been her true status for there is no evidence that she was divorced. In fact Francis Henry Atherton appears on the 1911 census, aged 70, mining prospector, living with his ‘wife’ , Julia, and five of the seven children born to them, at Langhurst Manor, Witley, Surrey. [Incidentally, for more about the house, which Atherton presumably leased from the publisher Edward Arnold who had built it in 1908, see here.] The children, who had all been born in Queensland, Australia, ranged in age from 19 to 10 and Atherton stated on the form that he and Julia had been married for 25 years. In fact this was an untruth twice over. Not only was he, apparently, still married to Annie Atherton, but a marriage ceremony between him and Julia had taken place at St Pauls, Covent Garden as recently as 10 September 1907. It seems inconceivable that Annie Atherton did not know that her husband and his family were living in Surrey and that, as it appears, he had committed bigamy. One can read on-line the oath he swore that there was no legal impediment to this marriage and, incidentally, that his bride, Julia Walford, was a widow. This, again, was another untruth as ‘Walford’ was her maiden name; their Australian-born children were registered with Francis Atherton as their father and Julia Walford as their mother. Perhaps it was felt that back in England propriety demanded that the liaison should appear more regular. Had he asked Annie Atherton for a divorce and been refused? I wonder if any reader of this post will know the answer.
When Annie died in 1913 the executor of her will was, naturally enough, Kate Thornbury. Kate died in 1920 (incidentally leaving £100 to the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship) having appointed Clara Garrett her executor. The latter was the wife of Samuel Garrett, brother of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Millicent Fawcett, and Agnes Garrett – and, guess what, I’ve just put two and two together and realised that Clara was Kate’s sister. Of course it’s a small world but I wonder if this overlap between the Robinson and Garrett family circles extended to an overlap in house decorating taste. Could Annie Atherton and Kate Thornbury have initially been inspired by the example set by the firm of R & A Garrett? Clara Thornbury drew her sister into the Garrett Circle when she married Samuel in 1882. Could conversations with Agnes and Rhoda have given Kate and Annie the idea of launching the Society of Artists a year later? At the very least the two couples must have had many interests in common – suffrage and applied art being the most obvious. Were Annie and Kate entertained at 2 Gower Street by Rhoda and Agnes and, later, by Agnes and Millicent? Were their decorating tastes similar? Did they visit each other’s shops? Buy each other’s wares? Who knows.
It is a pity that for a post concerned with the visual I have no illustrations to use. I know of no likenesses of Annie Atherton or Kate Thornbury, have no images of rooms they decorated, or the goods they sold. Despite the longevity of their business they seem to have left a fainter mark on history than Charlotte Robinson, who had Emily Faithful as her promoter.
I am most grateful to Thamar McIver who is researching suffragettes in Pinner (where Elspeth McClelland lived) and first brought Anne Atherton to my attention. The rest is – a sort – of history.
Last autumn, under the title, Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books , I wrote about a commission I had been given to write forewords to several novels by Rachel Ferguson and Winifred Peck, reprinted by Dean Street Press.
It was a pleasure to be invited back by the publishers to write a foreword introducing six novels by Elizabeth Fair, an author who, after achieving a degree of popularity in the 1950s, had become all but unknown. I very much enjoyed uncovering something of the author and reading her novels, well-written, charming, and redolent of a world that has most certainly past.
I love the detective work involved and was very fortunate that, having read the author’s will, I was able to make contact with someone who had known her well. On a cold, wet day in January I went to Cambridge (fortuitously combining this research visit with taking possession of some items I had just bought at a Cambridge auction house) and had a most interesting conversation about Elizabeth Fair. Moreover, I was shown the author’s diary dating from around the time her first novel was first published which gave a brief glimpse into her life and, incidentally, revealed something of the way that tyro authors were treated by publishers in those days – rather well was my conclusion. The diary revealed that Hutchinson, her publisher, had booked her a session with Angus McBean, a most highly regarded portrait photographer and it is his photograph that appears on the dustwrappers of the original editions of her books. My hostess had inherited furniture and pictures from Elizabeth Fair and these went some way to furnish in my mind the homes that she had lived in.
The novels have been given very stylish covers – five of them are based on Eric Ravilious illustrations, but one, The Native Heath, uses the artwork that appeared on the dustwrapper of the original edition – early work of a very young Shirley Hughes.
You can find details of all Elizabeth Fair’s novels, with my Introduction, here.
One of the businesses that over a number of years advertised very regularly in Votes for Women, the newspaper of the Women’s Social and Political Union, was that of the Violet Nurseries run by ‘The Misses Allen-Brown, F.R.H.S.’ at Henfield in Sussex. I was intrigued by the idea of the intensive farming of violets – that most Edwardian of flowers – and the fact that the women apparently also manufactured violet-scented unguents and perfume and thought I’d do a little delving.
When skimreading through Votes for Women I had just assumed that the ‘Misses Allen-Brown’ were sisters but once I began researching I quickly discovered that they were, separately, a ‘Miss Allen’ and a ‘Miss Brown’.
Ada Eugenie Brown (1856-1915) was born in Liverpool, one of the six children of Aaron (1814-1883) and Lydia Brown. Her father was a ‘provision merchant’ – a ship’s store dealer and ship’s chandler -working from premises in Chapel Street, Liverpool. The family lived in ‘Hartfield’, a large Italianate house in Allerton that still stands, now incorporated into Calderstones School. By 1871 the family was sufficiently prosperous to be tended by at least five servants, including a butler and a footman, and probably also kept a coachman. By the time he died in 1883 Aaron Brown had moved from Allerton to the very smart area of Princes Park. He left over £22,000 but I haven’t investigated his will and don’t know what share of this went to Ada. By 1899 she was living in ‘Holmgarth’ (now known as ‘Providence Cottage’) on Henfield Common North Road in Henfield, Sussex.
Decima Mary Katherine Allen (1869 – 1951) was born at Burnham in Somerset, one of the eleven children born to Elizabeth Allen. When the 1871 census was taken her mother was a recent widow and described herself as ‘a farmer’. As her name would suggest, Decima was the tenth child born of her parent’s marriage. However on her 1911 census form Elizabeth Allen states that she had given birth to eleven children (of whom seven were by then dead). Her 11th child, Sybil, would appear to have been born in London in 1873 and, if so, it seems impossible that her late husband, John Allen, could have been the baby’s father. From birth onwards a cloak of mystery covers much of Sybil’s life. She became a writer, known as Sybil Campbell Lethbridge – you can read about her here. In 1871, when Decima was still the youngest child, the Allen family lived on their farm at Charlinch in Somerset, together with five house servants plus a German governess and a farm bailiff. By 1901 Decima was living with Ada Brown at ‘Holmgarth’ – there is no information as to how they met.
Initially Ada and Decima ran a small general plant nursery but around 1905 sold this and, instead, began farming violets on an acre of land around their house. An April 1907 article in The Graphic headlined ‘A ladies’ violet farm’, reported that: ‘The two ladies who farm the Henfield acre will tell you that no manner of earning a living, or of adding to a slender income, is more delightful than theirs. They work all the year round, planting, transplanting, rearing, tending, weeding, picking, doing all the skilled labour themselves. A little hard digging, only a fortnight’s in the twelvemonth, is done by men…
Here at Henfield are no stream-margins, no banks whereon the violets grow to please themselves. They have to be made to grow to please others. Picking and sending to the English markets goes on from October to April ..All this means the two ladies have to spend long hours in the open air. They are up at five every summer morning, and at seven in the winter. The morning’s harvest is taken to the house for packing and despatch to all parts of the world. You can see violets from Henfield in Egypt and India. The demand for the beautiful long-stemmed Henfield violets is increasing, though all the old blue china pots in England might be filled from there already.’
Other reports make clear that, apart from the short-term hired male labour, Ada Brown and Decima Allen did not do all this work alone but that throughout the year they employed other women to whom they gave a training in horticulture. They even gave some thought as to the best outfit to be worn by these young women while working out-of-doors: ‘We think our students have accomplished the feat of clothing themselves both suitably and picturesquely. A short, straight skirt of some stout material, a green baize or brown leather apron with capacious pocket , a woollen jersey and waterproof Wellington boots; add to this a sou’-wester and a sailor’s mackintosh, and the worst winter weather may be defied.’
Readers will not be surprised to learn that there is no trace of Ada Brown and Decima Allen in the 1911 census. This would suggest that they were willing to support the Women’s Social and Political Union by committing an act of civil disobedience as well as by placing regular advertisements in Votes for Women. The women were friends with the actress and novelist Elizabeth Robins, to whom they dedicated their Violet Book. A prominent WSPU supporter and activist, she lived nearby at Backset (sometimes Backsett) Farm, Henfield. She, too, boycotted the census – it has been possible to track down the census form on which she refused to give information. However I have not yet found a form for ‘Holmgarth’. Elizabeth Robins’ 1923 novel, Time is Whispering features an estate that is devoted to the training of women horticulturalists, a theme that Angela Johns, Elizabeth’s biographer, suggests was inspired by the way of life led by the ‘Misses Allen-Brown’.
That way of life encompassed both visits from royalty, for Ada Brown and Decima Allen prided themselves on their royal patrons such as Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary, and from the less exalted – such as Alfred Carpenter who wrote to his brother, Edward, from Henfield on 3 July 1916 that ‘It is interesting to learn that Kate & Lina were here on the Violet-farm working hard – Miss Allen is still going strong & has many happy pupils – many of them are worshippers of yours & hailed my arrival (before they met me!) with joy – Their carnations are certainly a wonder & they seem to have a great demand for them notwithstanding the War.’ It is good to have evidence that the workers amongst the violets and carnations were followers of Edward Carpenter, socialist poet, philosopher, and advocate of sexual freedom.
The violets were packed and soaps and perfumes were manufactured in Lavender Cottage, an ancient building adjacent to Homgarth, although I am no further forward as to how they actually made soap and perfume in these presumably somewhat primitive premises.
After Ada Brown died in 1915 Decima Allen went into partnership with Ellen Rachel Dyce Sharp. The Violet Nurseries expanded and around 1929 the women bought another 3.5 acres which lay a short distance away from the main plot. You can watch a short 1935 Pathé film about the Violet Nurseries here. It looks as though by then they were giving employment to more men.
The nursery was eventually sold to Allwood Brothers of Wivelsfield, a nursery that had long specialised in growing carnations. Ellen Sharp died in 1950 aged 64 and Decima Allen in 1951 aged 81.
Woman and her Sphere
5 Owen’s Row
London EC1V 4NP
Index to Catalogue
Suffrage Non-fiction: Items 1-16
Suffrage Biography: Items 17-24
Suffrage Fiction: Items 25-31
Suffrage Ephemera: Items 32-120
Suffrage Postcards: Real Photographic: Items 121-141
Suffrage Postcards: Suffrage Artist: Items 142-153
Suffrage Postcards: Commercial Comic: Items 154-177
General Non-fiction: Items 178-301
General Biography: Items 302-421
General Ephemera: Items 422-487
General Postcards: Items 488-492
General Fiction: Items 493-503
Women and the First World War: Items 504-518
- BILLINGTON-GREIG, Teresa The Militant Suffrage Movement: emancipation in a hurry Frank Palmer no date   ‘I write this book in criticism of the militant suffrage movement beccause I am impelled to do so by forces as strong as those which kept me five years within its ranks….I am a feminist, a rebel, and a suffragist…’ She had been an early member of the WSPU and then a founding member of the Women’s Freedom League and tells the history of the movement from her viewpoint. An important and very scarce book. Good – ex-library £120
- BUTLER, Josephine (ed) Woman’s Work and Woman’s Culture: a series of essays Macmillan 1869  Excellent copy of an extremely scarce book. After an Introduction by Josephine Butler, the other essays are: ‘The Final Cause of Woman’ by Frances Power Cobbe; ‘How To Provide For Superfluous Women’ by Jessie Boucherett; ‘Education Considered As A Profession For Women’ by the Rev George Butler; ‘Medicine As A Profession For Women’ by Sophia Jex-Blake; ‘The Teaching of Science’ by James Stuart; ‘Some Historical Aspects of Family Life’ by Charles H. Pearson; ‘Female Suffrage Considered Chiefly With Regard To Its Indirect Results’ by Julia Wedgwood; ‘The Education of Girls, Its Present And Its Future’ by Elizabeth Wolstenholme; and ‘The Social Position of Women In The Present Age’ by John Boyd-Kinnear. In very good condition – a little rubbing around the edges of the original blue cloth – internally very fresh and tight £490
- CAMPBELL, Olwen W. The Feminine Point of View Williams & Norgate 1952  The report of a Conference which began in the winter of 1947 and included among its members Teresa Billington-Greig and Margery Corbett Ashby. Olwen Campbell was the daughter of Mary Ward, who had been the leading light of the Cambridge Association for Women’s Suffrage. Very good in d/w £18
- CRAWFORD, Elizabeth (ed) Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary Francis Boutle 2013  Kate Frye was an organiser for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. Her diary tells us what it was like to stage a day-to-day campaign – from 1910-1914 – and then to see the campaign bearing fruit in after years. Paper covers – mint £15
- FAWCETT, Millicent Garrett Women’s Suffrage: a short history of a great movement T.C. & E.C. Jack no date (1912)  An excellent succinct study. Fine condition £20
- GIBSON, Sir John The Emancipation of Women Gwasg Gomer 1992  First published in 1891. Gibson was editor of the ‘Cambrian News’ between 1875-1915 and a strong supporter of women’s suffrage in Wales. Soft covers – mint £12
- HAMILTON, Cicely Marriage as a Trade Chapman and Hall 1909  The first edition of an influential text. Very good – slight spotting to green cloth cover and name of previous owner on free front endpaper. Very clean and tight – an excellent copy of a very scarce book £95
- KENT, Susan Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914 Princeton University Press 1987  Fine in d/w (which has one slight nick) £20
- LIDDINGTON, Jill Vanishing for the Vote: suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census MUP 2014  Paper covers – fine £12
- MILL, John Stuart Mill The Subjection of Women Longmans, Green, new edition 1906  With an introduction by Stanton Coit, whom Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy did not admire, but to whom she lent extensive notes, the use of which he acknowledges here. This edition was a v. popular item for selling from ‘literature’ tables at suffrage meetings. Paper covers – very good £12
- MORGAN, David Suffragists and Liberals: the politics of woman suffrage in Britain Basil Blackwell 1975  Fine in d/w £15
- MORRELL, Caroline ‘Black Friday’: violence against women in the suffragette movement Women’s Research and Resources Centre Publications 1981  An excellent, balanced, study of what happened in Parliament Square on 18 November 1910 – and the aftermath. Many of the questions that the author poses have not yet been answered. A pamphlet No 9 in the ‘Explorations in Feminism’ series. Soft covers – very good – and very scarce £45
- ROVER, Constance Love, Morals and the Feminists Routledge 1970  Good in d/w – though ex-library £18
- RUBINSTEIN, David Before the Suffragettes: women’s emancipation in the 1890s Harvester 1986  Soft covers – very good £15
- SCHREINER, Olive Woman and Labour T.Fisher Unwin 1911  If you have seen the film ‘The Suffragette’ you may remember that Maud Potts (aka Carey Mulligan) inherits a book by Olive Schreiner – ‘Dreams’ – and quotes from it. Schreiner was a strong influence on the early-20th-c suffrage movement and ‘Woman and Labour’, concerned with socialism and gender equality, is dedicated to Lady Constance Lytton. This particular copy bears on its front cover the large label of the Irishwomen’s Reform League Lending Library open to the public 29 South Anne Street Dublin (and then with further info re opening times etc). Inside, the free front end paper carries another ‘Irishwomen’s Reform League’ label (rather attractively printed in green on white paper). Above the label is the signature of Louie Bennett, founder in 1911 of the Irishwomen’s Reform League, and at the bottom of the page is an address, presumably hers, ‘Undercliff, Killiney.’ The label has been added after the ink signature and address were written and my interpretation is that Louie Bennett had bought this book, for herself and then gavve it to the lending library of her new organisation. As a text ‘Woman and Labour’ was central to the desire to change the social and economic position of women that motivated the IRL. Items connected to the Irish suffrage movement are very scarce. In good condition. £120
- STRACHEY, Ray The Cause: a short history of the women’s movement in Great Britain G. Bell 1928  This copy belonged to Lord McGregor – author of ‘Divorce in England’ , a book that includes a very useful bibliography of works on women’s rights. He has laid in the book a collection of newspaper cuttings, from the 1950s to 1970s, relating to the position of women. The copy of the book is in good condition – but he had bought it as an ex-library copy and has added a few pencilled notes on the back pastedown. An interesting association copy.
- (AYRTON) Evelyn Sharp Hertha Ayrton 1854-1923: a memoir Edward Arnold 1926  Biography of the scientist and suffragist. Very good – gilt titles to spine.- one slight mark on spine and to top edge of frontispiece, nowhere near the lovely photograph of Hertha. Very scarce £75
- (BALFOUR) Lady Frances Balfour Ne Obliviscaris Hodder & Stoughton, no date (1920s)  Her autobiography -in good condition – front hinge of vol 1 weak -ex-library two volume set £35
- (DUNIWAY) Ruth Barnes Moynihan Rebel for Rights: Abigail Scott Duniway Yale University Press 1983  Abigal Scott Duniway (1834-1915), American suffragist, journalist, and national leader. Fine in d/w £5
- (FAWCETT) David Rubinstein A Different World for Women: the life of Millicent Garrett Fawcett Ohio State University Press 1991  Mint in d/w £15
- FAWCETT, Millicent What I Remember Fisher Unwin 1924  Millicent Fawcett’s autobiography. Good – ex-school library – with a photocopy substituting for one plate £24
- (LYTTON) Lady Betty Balfour (ed) Letters of Constance Lytton William Heinemann 1925  Very good – in purple cloth, with design by Syvlia Pankhurst on front cover £68
- (LYTTON) Lady Betty Balfour (ed) Letters of Constance Lytton William Heinemann 1925  Inlaid are cuttings about Lady Constance and an intriguing photograph of a portrait of her in which she is wearing both her hunger-strike medal and a ‘Holloway’ brooch. It’s not an image that I’ve seen before. Purple cloth cover, with design by Sylvia Pankhurst in purple, white and green (to match the cover of ‘Prisons and Prisoners’), is a little knocked and rubbed – internally good £80
- (DAVISON) Ann Morley And Liz Stanley The Life and Death of Emily Wilding Davison: with Gertrude Colmore’s ‘The Life of Emily Davison’ Women’s Press 1988  A study of the life of Emily Wilding Davison, together with a reprint of Gertrude Colemore’s ‘The Life of Emily Wilding Davison’. Soft covers – very good £9
- FAIRBAIRNS, Zoe Stand We at Last Virago 1983  A picaresque novel, with a suffrage sequence. Paper covers – very good £4
- HINE, Muriel The Man With the Double Heart John Lane 1914  The heroine’s mother is a Militant Suffragette; she is not. Good £18
- JOHNSTON, Sir Harry Mrs Warren’s daughter: a story of the women’s movement Chatto & Windus 1920  A suffrage novel. Very good – presentation copy from the author’s wife £35
- LEFROY, Ella Napier The Man’s Cause John Lane 1899  The author was Isabella Napier Lefroy (née Hastie) (1854-1919) – who also wrote under the pseudonym ‘E.N. Leigh Fry’. The novel contains much discussion of the Woman Question – and is among those I list under ‘Novels’ with suffrage content in my ‘Reference Guide’. Good and tight – just a little rubbed on edges- rather scarce £45
- LUCAS, E.V. Mr Ingleside Methuen, 15th ed, no date 1910/1912?)  A novel with suffrage scenes. Only a reading copy – cloth worn – backstrip loose £4
- MASEFIELD, John The Street of To-day J.M. Dent 2nd ed, 1911  Another from my ‘Reference Guide’ list of novels with pro-suffrage sentiment. ‘It seems to me that all the evils in modern life spring direcctly from the absence of women in government’, says one character. Masefield was a friend of Elizabeth Robins and a strong suffrage supporter. Very good £40
- MASSIE, Chris Esther Vanner Sampson Low, Marston & Co no date (1937)  The heroine is a suffragette. Very good in d/w £35
- ADVERTISMENT FOR ‘THE WOMAN’S PARTY’  Patriotic Meeting and Celebration of the Woman’s Suffrage Victory’ at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday afternoon, March 16th , at 3 o’clock. ‘Mrs Pankhurst will preside: Miss Christabel Pankhurst, Miss Annie Kenney, Mrs drummond will speak.’ Details are then given of the price of the seats (the gallery was free). The advertisement appears in a theatre programme for ‘The Better ‘Ole’, a musical comedy based on Bruce Bairnsfeather’s character ‘Old Bill’ – an infantryman. The production opened at London’s Oxford Music Hall in August 1917 and, as we can see, was still in business in March 1918. The Woman’s Party advertisement is the largest in the programme. Very good £45 SOLD
- CAHILL, Richard Staunton A Lecture on Woman’s Rights, Cockermouth, 1888  The painting depicts a woman in neat, plain attire standing on a platform addressing an (unseen) audience. Behind her is a poster that reads ‘A Lecture on Woman’s Rights Will be Delivered [?] in the Lecture Hall of the Young Men’s Christian Association Cockermouth on Wednesday Mrs Smith.’
The painting is signed by the artist Richard Staunton Cahill and is dated 1888.
I can certainly place the artist, Irish-born though he was, very close to Cockermouth in the late 1870s/early 1880s.
The artist: -Richard Staunton Cahill – born c 1827 in Co Clare. Son of Charles Staunton Cahill who, in 1828/9, was a leading supporter of Catholic Emancipation and of Daniel O’Connell (the Liberator)
In 1850 Richard Cahill entered the Royal Hibernian Academy. He lived in Dublin but by 1863 had moved to London and then by 1875 was living in Nottingham and teaching at the Government School of Art there. He still had a Nottingham address in 1877 but by 1879 when he submitted works to the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts his address was given as ‘Keswick’.
In the 1881 census he was living, with his sister, Agnes, in a boarding house in High Street, Crosthwaite. He gave his occupation as ‘artist’, ‘master School of Art’ – so it is possible that he was still employed in Nottingham and spent holidays in Cumberland.
In 1882 when he submitted works to the Irish Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures in Dublin his address was again given as ‘Keswick’.
On 24 March 1883 ‘The Graphic’ printed a poem Cahill had written protesting against the threat to ‘Lakeland’ posed by the new railway and roads. He must have been closely associated with Canon Rawnsley (who was about to move into Crosthwaite Vicarage) and the Lake District Defence Society. With his nephew (I think) C.S. Cahill, Richard Cahill wrote several songs – ‘Songs of the Lake’ – including ‘Beautiful Keswick’ and ‘Charming Windermere’.
As to the subject of the painting: – I know of a couple of women’s suffrage lectures given in Cockermouth in the early years of the suffrage campaign. On 1872 Friday 24 May 1872 a travelling speaker, Jessie Craigen, gave a lecture on ‘Women’s Rights at the Court House, Cockermouth – but I know from written descriptions that Jessie Craigen was large and blowsy – the antithesis of the neat figure in this painting.
Lydia Becker, the leader of the women’s suffrage meeting in Manchester, held meeting in Cockermouth on Tuesday 17 January 1882 – but, again, her features are very distinctive and these are not they. For full details of the 19th century women’s suffrage campaign in Cumberland see my Women’s Suffrage Movement: a regional survey p 24.
I suspect that the woman lecturer is in fact Miss Mary Smith of Finkle Street in Carlisle, whose ‘Autobiography of Mary Smith: schoolmistress and non-conformist’ was published in 1892. For many years Mary Smith ran a girls’ school from her home and was renowned for giving Penny Readings.
In 1868 she initiated a correspondence with Lydia Becker, who addressed her in a letter of 20 May 1868, as ‘Mrs Smith’.
On 2 April 1869, with Mary Smith’s encouragement, Miss Becker gave a ‘woman’s rights’ lecture in Carlisle, which was followed by the founding of the Carlisle branch of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage, with Mary Smith as its honorary secretary. The Carlisle branch was still in existence until at least 1872 but then fades from view.
In her autobiography Mary Smith is at pains to describe how she bought ‘plain and comfortable clothing’, writing ‘Nor was I ever ashamed of being plainly dressed’. One who knew her commented that ‘not unfrequently her dress was decidedly antiquated and old fashioned.’ The figure in the painting cuts a very neat figure, attired certainly in plain and comfortable clothing. Mary Smith’s Autobiography does not include any representation of her, alas, but I feel as certain as one can be – with no absolute proof – that it is she who is delivering the ‘Woman’s Rights’ lecture from that platform. I have, as yet, been unable to find a newspaper report of the lecture.
Mary Smith died in 1891 and had been ill for a few years before – so I rather think that the lecture had taken place considerably earlier than the date given on the painting. By 1888 (by which time Cahill can be found at a London address) ‘Woman’s Rights’ was no longer really the term that would be used. The suffrage campaign had been making some headway and by 1888 the term ‘women’s suffrage’ would have been more likely to have been used than ‘woman’s rights’, which was more of a 1870s usage.
The painting – oil on canvas – is in very good condition. £3,300
- CHURCH LEAGUE FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE Mission Week 1912 CLWS 1912  Single-sided leaflet (22cm high x 14cm wide) giving details of the main events of Mission Week. In good condition £45
- CHURCH LEAGUE FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE Resolutions Passed at the General Council, January 25, 1912  Single-sided sheet (34cm x 21cm) setting out the Resolutions, which included ‘That the Council consider means of breaking down the unfriendly attitude of the Ecclesiastical Press’; ‘That a better and more expensive brooch be made’, and that ‘Lady Day be observed throughout all the Branches as a Day of Intercession for the Women’s Movement’. Very good condition – has been folded £50
- CHURCH LEAGUE FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE Third Annual Mission June 2-8 1912  Programme for the CLWS Mission Week – which included ‘Street Sales of the Monthly Paper) (that is, the CLWS’s own paper), a Day of Meditation and Prayer at the Royal Chapel of the Savoy, where the Chaplain, Rev Hugh Chapman ( a great favourite with Kate Parry Frye), took one of the services, a Service at St Ethelburga’s, bishopsgate, with an address from the Rev Dr Cobb, a Public Discussion on ‘The Church and the Social Problem’ at which one of the speakers was Dr Letitia Fairfield (sister of Rebecca West) and ending with a Procession on Sat 8 June from Marble Arch to St George’s Bloomsbury. 4-pp programme -in very good condition – most unusual £100
- CICELY HAMILTON  photographed by Lena Connell, 50 Grove End Road, London NW. The close-up photograph is mounted on stiff card, which carries the logo of the Suffrage Shop and the words ‘Published by the Suffrage Shop’.Her name has been scratched on the emulsion, presumbably by the photographer, and Cicely Hamilton has signed the image, which probably dates from late-1909/1910. In fine condition – overall 20 cm high x 13 cm wide. £180
- CONFERENCE ON ELECTORAL REFORM Letter from Mr Speaker to the Prime Minister HMSO 1917  Section VIII reports ‘The Conference decided by a majority that some measure of woman suffrage should be conferred’. They were, however, still debating whether the age at which a woman could vote would be 30 or 35. 8-pp – foolscap £10
- CORONATION PROCESSION 17 June 1911  A stereoscope photograph of ‘The Empire Car’ – part of the ‘Pageant of Empire’ part of the procession staged by the suffrage societies to mark the Coronation of George V. Very good £95
- ELIZABETH ROBINS – LETTER  – with the printed address ‘Blythe, Woldingham, Surrey and dated only ‘Thursday’ – written in ink to ‘dear Miss Anstruther Thomson’ explaining that she will be in London to give a lecture at the Portman Rooms for ‘the militant Suffragists’ – ‘Christabel I believe in the chair. Could we meet on Wed. April 1 at my club or yours? I don’t want to miss you.’ Elizabeth Robins’ talk at the Portman Rooms, organised by the WSPU, with, indeed, Christabel in the chair’, was given on 1 April 1908 and was then reprinted in ‘Way Stations’. Clementina (‘Kit’) Anstruther-Thomson, who in the 1890s had enjoyed a long, loving relationship with ‘Vernon Lee’, was a painter. Very good £55 SOLD
- FAWCETT, Mrs Henry Home and Politics an address delivered at Toynbee Hall and elsewhere Women’s Printing Society 1894  A much reproduced speech – first given c 1890. Printed by the Women’s Printing Society. 8pp – in good condition – ex- Women’s Library £10
- GREAT MEETINGS TO CONSIDER ‘THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT OF THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT’  The Programme for the event that took place on Wednesday 19 June 1912 in the Queen’s Hall, Langham Place, London. The organiser was Miss Lucy Gardner, 7 Bigwood Road, Golders Green and the chairmen were Mrs Louise Creighton, widow of a former bishop of London, and the bishop of Oxford. Among the several other speakers were the bishop of Hull and Maude Royden. The programme also mentions that a ‘Quiet Day’ was being held on 12 June at Morley Hall, 26 George St, Hanover Square, London W where ‘Friends are invited to come in for silent or united prayer for longer or shorter periods.’ The 4-page programme (26cm high x 22 cm wide) includes a long list of ‘Supporters and Guarantors’ of the event. In good condition – has been folded -unusual – I’ve never seen a programme for this event before £100
- ‘HELPING THE CAUSE’  Programme for The London Coliseum for week beginning 19 February 1912 – which includes on the bill a play, ‘Helping the Cause’, starring ‘Mrs Lily Langtry’. The play was described by ‘Variety’ as ‘a skit on the Suffragette movement. The plot deals with a titled woman seeking martyrdom in the cause of suffrage. The act is very funny, with some clever lines. It was the hit of the bill.’ The scene was set in a cell in ‘Holloway Gaol’ and besides ‘Lady Victoria Vanderville’ (played, of cours, by LL) the other characters are a Wardress, the Prison Doctor, the Prison Governor and other warders and attendants. The authors are given as Percy Fendall and Lady de Bathe – ‘Lady de Bathe’ being Mrs Lily Langtry’s then married name. As far as I know Lily Langtry was at least a nominal member of the Actresses’ Franchise League – but presumably not averse to playing to popular anti-suffrage sentiment. Interesting – and unusual. Good £55
- HOUSMAN, Laurence The Immoral Effects of Ignorance in Sex Relations Women’s Freedom League  ‘A Lecture given at the Essex Hall, October 18th 1911’. Paper covers – with information on the Women’s Freedom League and their paper, ‘The Vote’, on inside of front and back covers. 48-pp pamphlet in fine condition. Scarce £48 SOLD
- ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS 25 January 1908  ‘The Right Argument: which is fitter to have the vote?’. Full-page illustrated by H.H. Flere. In an attic room a young woman sits at her sewing machine, her baby asleep in a basket on the floot beside her, while her husband lies in a drunken stupor on the bed. A policeman has opened the door and she is turning round in alarm. The ILN caption tells us that ‘Without discussing the wisdom of the tactics adopted by the women advocates of votes for women, it cannot be denied that there are thousands of cases, such as that which our artist has illustrated, where the wife is far better fitted to exercise the suffrage than the husband. Our picture tells its own story better than any words.’ Single sheet – very good £15 SOLD
- INTERNATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE CONGRESS  Budapest June 15-20 1913. This is a small advertising paper label/stamp (it has a sticky back) for the Congress – showing two graceful women stretching their arms, to hold hands across the globe. The type-face is very 1913. A pretty and interesting memento of the last pre-war international women’s gathering. Fine -amazingly ephemeral – and unusual. With the background printed in gold £85
- INTERNATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE CONGRESS  Budapest June 15-20 1913. This is a small advertising paper label/stamp (it has a sticky back) for the Congress – showing two graceful women stretching their arms, to hold hands across the globe. The type-face is very 1913. A pretty and interesting memento of the last pre-war international women’s gathering. Fine -amazingly ephemeral – and unusual. With the background printed in blue £85
- L’EFFORT LIBRE F. Rieder & Co (Paris) Dec 1913  Contains a 20-pp article (in French), ‘Les Suffragistes militantes’ by Israel Zangwill. Paper covers – very good £18
- LENA CONNELL PHOTOGRAPHS ELLEN TERRY  Nine studio photographs of Ellen Terry mounted in an ‘accordion’ type portfolio. 1) She stands facing the camera wearing a wide dark straw hat with flowers and a dustcoat, across which hangs a satchel. She is holding gloves in her left hand; 2) Ellen Terry is sitting, photographed in profile from the left, without a hat, wearing a loose light-coloured gown. Her hair is looped up, forming a sort of crown. She leans on a book on a table, looking at an object she holds in her hands; 3) Wearing the same outfit she is seated at a table, holding a large album, but looking at the camera; 4) Taken on the same occasion, she is seen in three-quarter profile, holding a picture in her hands; 5) Wearing the same dress, she is looking towards the camera while leaning on a table, left elbow resting on an open book, with a number of photographs in her hands; 6) She is photographed from behind as she turns to the left. She is wearing the same loose gown as in the previous photographs; 7) Taken on the same occasion, she turns towards the camera, resting her face on her hands, her elbows resting on the open book; 8) Wearing the same loose gown she looks down at the album that appears in #3; 9) She is photographed in three-quarter profile, wearing the hat and loose dustcoat in which she appeared in # 1. She looks at the camera while holding up a book, with spectacles tucked into her left hand. The photographs, each 9 cm wide x 14cm high, mounted on brown card (23 cm high x 15.5 cm wide, are not identified as by Lena Connell – but, of course, there is no doubt that she was the photographer – the format of the portfolio being the same as that for stock number 14172. The photographs were probably taken c late 1909/1910. None, as far as I can see, appear in the Ellen Terry entry in theNational Portrait Gallery’s ‘Later Victorian Portraits’. All in mint condition – an amazing survival £800
- LENA CONNELL PHOTOGRAPHS ELLEN TERRY, MAINLY AS ‘NANCE OLDFIELD’  Eight photographs mounted in an ‘accordion’ type portfolio. 1) Ellen Terry dressing for her role as ‘Nance Oldfield’ in Cicely Hamilton’s ‘Pageant of Great Women’. She is sitting facing a mirror in which we see her reflection; 2) Ellen Terry dressed as ‘Nance Oldfield’. She is seen in profile from the left, holding an object in her raised left hand; 3) Ellen Terry as ‘Nance Oldfield’. She is seen in profile from the left, holding a book (I think) which is resting against a casket; 4) Ellen Terry as ‘Nance Oldfield’ in three-quarter profile. The casket is now open – her right hand is holding up the lid, while she holds an object in her left; 5) Ellen Terry as ‘Nance Oldfield’ – sitting in front of the closed casket. She is photographed in profile; 6) Ellen Terry as ‘Nance Oldfield’. The image is nearly identical to no 1 above – but in here her reflection is centred in the mirror; 7) Ellen Terry in day dress. She is shown in left profile, near a window that is covered by a light curtain, with a pot or vase of flowers to her right; 8) Ellen Terry in day dress. She is photographed in profile, sitting on a window seat, with her knees drawn up. At the window is a light curtain and on the windowsill is a vase of daffodils. The photographs, each 9 cm wide x 14cm high, mounted on brown card (23 cm high x 15.5 cm wide), are not identified as by Lena Connell – but, of course, there is no doubt that she was the photographer. She is credited in the published edition of ‘The Pageant of Great Women’ with one of ‘Nance Oldfield’ photographs in which Ellen Terry sits before a mirror. The photographs were taken c late 1909/1910. All in mint condition – an amazing survival £700
- LONDON AND NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR WOMEN’S SERVICE Report, October 1st 1938 to March 31st 1943  A Report giving details of how Women’s Service House fared during the early years of the war (bombed) and where the Library was accommodated (Oxford) – together with details of the Society’s perilous financial postition. Good £25
- MARY PHILLIPS  A fat ringbinder of research material (much of it photocopied from diverse sources) relating to Mary Phillips, successively organizer for the WSPU, the East London Federation of the Suffragettes, the United Suffragists, the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage, the Women’s International League and the Save the Children Fund. The research material concentrates on her suffrage activity. Together with an original copy of her 15-pp pamphlet ‘The Militant Suffrage Campaign ”, which she published privately in 1957. This tells ‘in a concise form the story of the “Votes for Women Canpaign”‘ and explains ‘the reasoned policy on which it was based.’ The pamphlet is very good in its paper covers. An interesting and useful collection £55
- MILLICENT GARRETT FAWCETT  studio photograph by W & D. Downey, no date (probably 1880s). Mounted – very good image – with narrow strip at left-hand edge of mount where it may have been fixed in an album £40
- MISS EMILY FAITHFULL  studio photograph by W & D Downey, 57 & 61 Ebury Street, London, together with a printed brief biography. £40
- MRS A. BLANCO WHITE  4-page campaigning pamphlet for Amber Blanco White (erstwhile mistress of H.G. Wells) as Labour candidate for Hendon, at the General Election, 1935. Good – has been folded £35
- NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR OPPOSING WOMAN SUFFRAGE Mr J.R. Tolmie’s Reply to Mr L. Housman’s Pamphlet NLOWS no date (1913)  The pamphlet of Laurence Housman’s to which this refers is ‘The Physical Force Fallacy’. Pamphlet no 37 issued by the National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage. 4-pp – very good £65
- NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION What Women Demand WSPU no date [c 1908/1909]  Leaflet setting out simply the terms on which the WSPU was asking for the vote for women. Single-sided leaflet (22cm x 14) – very good condition £75
- [OSBERT LANCASTER] ‘GREAT NEWS! AUNT ETHEL HAS JUST BEEN CHOSEN TO PLAY MOTHER CHRISTMAS AT THE WOMEN’S LIB BAZAAR’  Original pen and ink illustration (with blue shading indicating half-tone) by Osbert Lancaster, the legendary ‘Daily Express’ cartoonist. Maudie Littlehampton is talking on the telephone as ‘Mother Christmas’ walks by. The paper is folded and the caption, in the artist’s hand, appears on the folded piece adjacent to the drawing, which he has signed. On the reverse is a rubber stamp ‘Stock 20 Nov 1971.’ Women’s Lib was very much in the news at this time – exactly a year earlier women protestors had disrupted the Miss World competition, held in the Royal Albert Hall, and a month before the cartoon appeared the Women’s Lib Movement had held its second conference. £250
- PANKHURST, Christabel A Challenge Woman’s Press  ‘Miss Pankhurst’s unpublished Article in this week’s ‘Votes for Women’, 8 March 1912. This was the week that Christabel eluded the police and escaped to Paris – and ‘Votes for Women’ was censored. The article that was to have been included was, instead, issued by the WSPU as a leaflet. It ends by promising ‘Repression will make the fire of rebellion burn brighter. Harsher punishment will be a direct invitation to more drastic acts of militancy.’ One-sided leaflet issued by the WSPU (28cm high x 20cm wide) – very good – very scarce £150
- POSTCARD WRITTEN TO HANNA SHEEY SKEFFINGTON  addressed to her at ‘I.W.F.L.’ [Irish Women’s Franchise League] at Westmoreland Chambers, Westmoreland Street, Dublin, postmarked 11 September 1915. The sender is ‘R.L. Wizzell’, who is presumaby the chap whose photograph appears on the front of the card. He relates that ‘whilst I am physically fit I am still unable to bring myself to work again. I feel mean but I must ask you t let me off for circumstances are such that it is impossible for me to take your meetings just yet’. The card came to me, with a few others, from a Dublin source and has been annotated with the info that ‘R.L. Wizzell’ was a connection of the National Union of Railwaymen..but I’ve been unable to find out anything more about him.. £50 SOLD
- PHOTOGRAPH FRAMED AND MOUNTED  of a WSPU poster parade. Towards the forefront of the picture a woman is carrying a placard that reads’ Votes for Women. The Cabinet Is To Blame For Militancy’. She is followed by at least 8 other women carrying posters and in the forefront is a young woman selling copies of ‘Votes for Women’ and carrying what could be a WSPU flag (it is tricolour, but of course the black and white photograph doesn’t confirm that the flag is purple, white and green, though I’m sure it is). I can’t work out exactly where the photograph was taken, although the street lights are identical to those around Westminster. The season is autumn/winte and from the costumes I would date the image to late 1912-1914. It is noticeable that the dress of the ‘poster’ women is more subdued, skirts that little bit shorter, hats calmer, than those of the women looking on. The photograph itself is glossy, but may have originated as a newspaper photo. I suspect that the woman who mounted and framed it is one of those in the photograph. The mount is discoloured across the bottom left-hand side and with a few other marks elesewhere – but there are no marks on the photograph itself £120 SOLD
- PUNCH CARTOON  13 March 1912, full-page, suffragettes wield hammers in the background as Roman-type matron, bearing a paper labelled ‘Woman’s Suffrage’ comments ‘To think that, after all these years, I should be the first martyr’. the heading is ‘In the House of Her Friends’ £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 March 1913.’The Majesty of the Law’ is the caption. Blind Justice stands with the scales in one hand and her sword wrapped round with a cloth labelled ‘Hunger Strike’. A house is in flames in the background. Full-page -very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  23 January 1918 – A St Joan figure holds the ‘Woman’s Franchise’ banner and, with arms outstretched, cries out ‘At Last’. Full page – very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  13 March 1912, full-page, suffragettes wield hammers in the background as Roman-type matron, bearing a paper labelled ‘Woman’s Suffrage’ comments ‘To think that, after all these years, I should be the first martyr’. the heading is ‘In the House of Her Friends’. £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  21 January 1912 – full page – ‘The Suffrage Split’. Sir George Askwith (the charismatic industrial conciliator), as ‘Fairy Peacemaker’, has tamed the dragon of the Cotton Strike – and Asquith, wrestling to keep a seat on the Cabinet horse turns to him ‘Now that you’ve charmed yon dragon I shall need ye to stop the strike inside this fractious gee-gee.’ £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  30 Nov 1910, scene is a suffragette demonstration, ‘Votes for Women’ flags flying. Two young street urchins observe and comment. Caption is ‘Man of the World (lighting up), “Well ‘ave to give it ’em, I expect, Chorlie”‘. Half-page illustration £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  13 July 1910, full-page – the caption is ‘Excelsior!’ as Suffragist puts her shoulder to the boulder of ‘Women’s Suffrage’ and says, ‘It’s no good talking to me about Sisyphus; he was only a man’ £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  6 July 1910 – ‘The Suffragette that Knew Jiu-Jitsu’. Backed by her ‘Votes for Women’ poster, she is hurling policemen over the fence. Half-page £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  2 December 1908 – a Bernard Partridge full-length illustration shows Asquith (Andromedus) chained to his rock – beset by the sea monster taunting him with her Votes for Women triton and searching for salvation from Persea – the Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League. Very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  21 October 1908 – full page – two burglars ‘on the way to suburban night-work’ pass a line of policemen marching in the opposite direction. The wallposter announces a Votes for Women demonstration in Parliament Square – and the burglars agree that ‘sufferajits’ are a good thing, keeping the police occupied they we they do. £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  24 June 1908. ‘The Militant Sex’. Haldane, the secretary of state for war, attired as Napoleon, comments on the serrried ranks of women marching behind him, banners aloft – to the WSPU’s ‘Woman’s Sunday’ rally in Hyde Park and thinks ‘Ah! if only I could get the men to come forward like that!’ A full-page illustration £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 June 1908. A full-page homage to Burne-Jones’ ‘King Cophetu and the Beggar-Maid’ by Bernard Partridge. The King (Mr Asquith) (clutching a ‘Female Suffrage’ crown) ‘This beggar-maid shall be my queen’ – that is, if there’s a general feeling in the country to that effect’. The ‘beggar-maid’ is holding her ‘Votes for Women’ banner..and the House of Commons (or, at least, Big Ben) can be seen through the open window. £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  1 January 1908. ‘Leap-Year: or, the Irrepressible Ski’. A suffragette, attired in her winter furs and scarves, sails through the air on her skis (both labelled ‘Agitation’) and carrying her ‘Votes for Women’ pennant. Full page – good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  18 April 1906. ‘A Temporary Entaglement’ – a scene from ‘Vanity Fair’. Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman as Josh Sedley holds the wool as The Suffragette (aka Becky Sharp) winds it into a ball. The allusion is to the news that ‘The Prime Minister has promised to receive a deputation on the subject of Female Suffrage after Easter’. Full-page cartoon by Bernard Partridge £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 October 1927. As a young woman takes her gun from the ghillie an elderly gentleman (the Conservative Party) looks concerned and remarks ‘I hope she’s got enough ‘intuition’ not to let it off in my direction’. The remark is explained: ‘The question of extended suffrage for women [ie for those between 21 and 30] [in whose ‘intuition’ Mr Baldwin reposes so much confidence will be raised in the approaching Conference of the Conservative Party]. Full page £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  23 May 1928. A gentleman identified as Lord Banbury kneels in a ring (it’s an allusion to the Royal Tournament which was doubtless on at the time) and opens his umbrella to defend himself against the horde of cloche-hatted women who are rushing towards him carrying their flag for the ‘Equal Franchise Bill’. In the debate on the Representation of the People Act on 21 May 1928 Lord Banbury had attempted to move its rejection. Full-page cartoon – good – one corner creased £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  17 January 1906. ‘The Shrieking Sister’. The Sensible Woman (with her fur stole around her neck) addresses the dishevelled ‘suffragette’ (with a ‘Female Suffrage’ flag tied to her umbrella) – ‘You – help our cause? Why, you’re its worst enemy!’ They are standing outside a hall that advertises ‘Great Liberal Meeting’. A full-page Bernard Partridge cartoon £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 November 1913. Two young women are discussing ‘The Fifth of November’. One asks ‘Coming to our bonfire?’ The other replies ‘Ra-ther. Whose house are we burning?’ Quarter-page cartoon – fine £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  2 July 1913. ‘Advertising the Enemy’ ‘Painful position of M.P. returning to his hotel in the only clothes left him after a quiet bathe behind the rocks’. Chap dashes along the promenade shielded from the gaze of tittering women by only a ‘Votes for Women’ advertisement. Half-page £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  2 July 1913. Militant ‘Now, isn’t that provoking? Here’s a lovely big house to let and I’ve forgotten my matches!!’. Needless to say she’s a dowdy frump and is carrying a bag packed with paraffin, fire lighters and ‘votes for women’ notices. Half-page cartoon £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  18 June 1913. ‘Atmosphere of distrust at a garden party owing to rumour that a militant is present’. Love the stylish 1913 clothes – but all – men and women and children – are all looking over their (literal and proverbial) shoulders. Half-page cartoon £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  4 June 1913. Be-smutted woman kneels in front of her recalcitrant fireplace. ‘Militant suffragette (after long and futile efforts to light a fire for her tea-kettle) ‘And to think that only yesterday I burnt two pavilions and a church.’ Half-page cartoon £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  26 March 1913. ‘Burglary Up-To-Date’. Burglar has taken his swag from a safe and now writes ‘Votes for Women’ across the jemmied door. Half-page cartoon – good condition £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  19 March 1913. At a railway wayside halt the stationmaster asks the signalman to keep an eye on ‘the ole gal on the platform’ while he has his dinner. The signalman doesn’t think she’ll come to any harm but the stationmaster explains ‘I’m not thinkin’ of ‘er ‘ealth. I’m thinkin’ about my station. She might want to burn it down.’ Half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 March 1913. ‘The child is daughter to the woman’ is the caption. Suffragette mother returns after a strenuous day and is expecting some important correspondence. Her daughter, however, reveals she has torn up the letters to provide a paperchase for her dolls. Mother expostulates: ‘..Haven’t I often told you that letters are sacred things?’ A comment on suffragette attacks on post-boxes. A half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  26 February 1913. ‘Acidulated Golf’ is the caption. ‘Votes for Women’ has been incised in the golf course and golfers and caddies are puzzling out how to make their shots. A half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 February 1913. ‘How Militant Suffragettes Are Made’. A cheeky caddie explains to a visiting golfer that the old green they are passsing gets flooded and ‘so they’ve give it up to the lydies.’ A half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  5 February 1913. ‘A Pleasure Deferred’ is the caption. Asquith, during the course of a Society evening, is trapped behind a columnar ornamental fern pot by a demanding suffragette (in her best Edwardian evening clothes) asking to know why he had ‘cur’ her dance. He explains that ‘the M.C. objected to the pattern of my waisstcoat, and I had to go home and change it. but I’ll tell you what! Let me put you down for an extra at our private subscription dance next season’. I love it. The full-page cartoon refers to the Speaker’s rulingat the end of Jan 1913 that a proposed amendment to introduce women into the bill would so change it that it would have to be reintroduced as a new bill. Very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  29 January 1913. ‘Rag-Time in the House’ is the caption. Members of the government are enjoying the ‘Suffrage Free & Easy Go As You Please’ dance. Asquith, with an ‘Anti’ label, is keeping an eye on Lloyd George (wearing a ‘Pro’ armband) jitterbugs with Sir Edward. The sub-text is ‘Sir Edward Grey’s Woman Suffrage Amendment produces some curious partnerships’. Full-page cartoon – very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  23 June 1912. ‘Votes for Men and Women’ is the caption. John Bull is sitting comfortably and turns round as Nurse Asquith enters carrying a baby labelled ‘Franchise Bill’. In answer to JB’s query ‘she’ replies: ‘Well, Sir, it’s certainly not a girl, and I very much doubt if it’s a boy’. The government’s Franchise and Registration bill was given its first Reading on 18 June 1912. Full-page cartoon – very good £12
- PUNCH CARTOON  27 March 1912. A young suffragette is standing on a table addressing a crowd: ‘I defy anyone to name a field of endeavour in which men do not receive more consideration than women!’ A Voice from the Crowd retorts: ‘What about the bally ballet!’ A half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  7 December 1910. ‘Voter’s Vertigo’ is the caption. It is the second general election of 1910 and the voter is all in a tizz..muddling up all the campaign slogans..(e’g. ‘don’t tax the poor man’s dreadnought’ and ‘home rule for suffragettes’). A quarter of a page cartoon – very good £8
- PUNCH CARTOON  6 January 1909. ‘Hereditary Instinct’ is the caption. Suffragette mother, in her outdoor dress, takes time ‘from really important things’ to visit the nursery and finds her daughter distraught amidst a plethora of exciting-looking toys. When Mother asks what, with all these toys, can she possibly want she replies, ‘I want a vote!’ Half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  24 December 1908. Two male Anti-suffragists, perhaps lounging at the Club, are talking about the suffrage campaign. One says ‘The idea of their wantin’ to be like us!’ while the other agrees ‘Yes, makin’ themselves utterly ridiculous’. Half-page cartoon – very good £10
- PUNCH CARTOON  8 January 1919. The caption is ‘The Enfranchisement of Women’. Two women are discussing the general election, the first one in which they could vote. One asks the other if she voted for Mr Jones and the reply is ‘No, I voted for the other man. You see, Mr Jones supported Woman’s Suffrage, which I abhor’. Half-page cartoon – very good £10
- SHOULDER TO SHOULDER  A Radio Times Special published to celebrate the first screening of the eponymous BBC series, April 1974. Very good £20
- SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE  is the caption to this full page George Belcher cartoon, published in the Tatler on 12 August 1908. Two impoverished old women are talking in the street – a unconsciously joky exchange – which is the amusing part for the audience of the day (I won’t go into the rather laboured humour which, if it has any suffrage relevance, is only to mock woman’s supposed illogicality)- but what is interesting to us is that one of the old dears is standing holding an advertising bill for the magazine, ‘New Age’, on which the roughly sketched in legend reads something like ‘A Suffragette’s reply to Belfort Bax.’. For the book that sparked off the debate in New Age see item ? Bax had published an article ‘Feminism and Female Suffrage’ in the issue for 30 May, to which Millicent Murby had written a reply that appeared in the issue of 6 June, to which Bax had made a riposte in the issue of 8 August. Single page – very good £15
- SOCIALISTS AND SUFFRAGETTES  cited in an entry in an autograph album ‘A Song of the Simple Life’ – in which a poor working man is addressed by a ‘wicked socialist’ who trys to explain how he is being exploited by his aristocratic landlord and his boss ‘Mr C’. His wife is then approached by a suffragette who told her ”Tis time you had a vote & need it, like the well fed folk; For while you still continue, as you are, without defence, The Earl & Mr C will thrive by this & that pretence’. The poem is accompanied by a page of rather effective line drawings – one of which shows the ‘Suffragette as the wife saw her’ – she is the image of Charlotte Despard, made so recognisable with her mantilla – and ‘as the husband saw her’ – she is the stereotype – hat with feather, umbrella, ‘votes for women’ flag, glasses and plaid suit with a hint of a divided skirt. This piece of artistry is signed – in September 1909 – by Frederick Augustus Carlton Smith (1884-1966), a young solicitor. During the First World War Carlton Smith, who, from the testimonials he received, was clearly a man who had involved himself in social work with the Congregational church, was a conscientious objector. By then he was living at 79 Athenaeum Road, Whetstone, London N. 4-pp – in good condition. A lively contemporary view. £35 SOLD
- STRACHEY, Ray The Women’s Movement in Great Britain: a short summary of its rise, methods and victories National Council of Women of Great Britain no date (c 1928)  A pamphlet abridged from Strachey’s ‘The Cause’. Chipped and rubbed – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £10
- SUFFRAGETTES AT HOME  Cartoon by Arthur Wallis Mills, published in ‘Punch’ in 1909. The scene is a drawing room at teatime. All the ladies, bar one, are attired in frothy teagowns and flowery hats. The odd one out is sulking in tailored coat and skirt, and plain beret. He: ‘I say, that lady over there looks rather out of it’. She: ‘Yes, you see, most of us here have been in prison two or three times, and she, poor dear, has only been bound over.’ Good – cut out from a page of the magazine £10
- ‘THE CONCILIATION BILL FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE  which passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons, on May 5th, with a Majority of 167′. A double-sided large leaflet published by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1911, setting out the advantages of the Conciliation Bill. Amongst the points it made was that under this bill 1 million would get the vote – whereas the 7 and a half million men would still comprise the vast majority of electors. Very good £55
- THE FIGHTING SEX  This issue of the part-work ‘History of the 20th Century’ includes a section on the suffrage campaign – written by Trevor Lloyd (author of ‘Suffragettes International’). Paper covers – large format £5
- ‘THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN’  supplement to ‘The Graphic’, 1885, heralding the supplements to be issued in Nov and Dec 1885 on ‘Parliamentary Elections and Electioneering in the Old Days’. As its advertisement for the series The Graphic has chosen to use George Cruickshank’s ”The Rights of Women; or a view of the hustings with female suffrage, 1853.’ We see on the hustings the two candidates – ‘The Ladies’ Candidate’- Mr Darling’ and ‘The Gentleman’s Candidate – Mr Screwdriver – the great political economist’. Elegant Mr Darling is surrounded by ladies in bonnets and crinolines – Mr Screwdriver by ill-tempered-looking boors. The audience contains many women accompanied, presumably, by their husbands who are holding aloft a ‘Husband and Wife Voters’ banner. Another banner proclaims the existence of ‘Sweetheart Voters’ and riding in their midst is a knight in armour holding a ‘Vote for the Ladies’ Champion’ pennant. There do not appear to be many supporters of the opposition.
Single sheet 28 cm x 20.5 cm – a little foxed around the edges of the paper but barely affecting the good, clear image of Crucikshank’s cartoon. £160
- THE SUFFRAGETTE  US Suffragette – wearing sash that proclaims this (ie ‘Suffragette’), holding aloft a ‘Suffragette’ pennant with one hand while she firmly squashes with the other a little Cupid, whose bow and arrow fly out of his hands. Under her foot is, I think, her heart. The caption is ‘You may think it fun, poor Cupid to snub,/With the hand of a Suffragette,/But he’s cunning and smart, aye, there’s the rub/Revenge is the trap he will set.’
The print is in colour – the Suffragette’s dress dates from c 1913/14, I think.
The sheet (18cm x 27 cm) is printed ‘Made in U.S.A.). In good condition – an item that would look attractive mounted and framed. £150
- THE SUFFRAGETTE, 2 MAY 1913  An issue printed under trying circumstances. The paper’s cover contains only one word – ‘Raided’ – and inside gives details of the police raid on WSPU headquarters, Lincoln’s Inn House, the arrest of its office staff and their subsequent trial. Christabel Pankhurst takes a full page to describe ‘What Militancy Means’. Fair condition – has been folded -spine separating -frayed round edges 8-pp – scarce £95
- ‘THE SUFFRAGETTES’ IN DOWNING STREET  page from ‘Black & White’ , 26 May 1906. A picture drawn to commemorate the joint deputation of the suffrage societies to beard Campbell-Bannerman at No 10. What is interesting is that the artist has chosen as the figure to represent the women on this occasion Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy. She is shown, with her flowing white ringlets, and, for the occasion, has donned a hat. She is standing in front of a table, behind which Campbell-Bannerman lolls – a large bundle of paper – presumably yet another petition – lies on the table. Keir Hardie is also recognisable, sitting with folded arms. Good – one page £18
- ‘THE WOMEN’S RIGHT TO SERVE’ MARCH’  A magic lantern glass slide showing one moment in the women’s ‘Right to Serve’ march through London on 17 July 1915. In the centre of the image a banner ‘Use the Gifts and Ability of Women’.is held aloft. Although it’s summer the women were wearing coats and at least one umbrella is in view – it was a rainy day. Kate Frye was there – as a marshall – and gives a vivid description of the day in ‘Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary’. The march was organised by the Pankhursts at the behest of Lloyd George in order to encourage women to sign up for war work. The route was very long – and I can’t identify exactly at which stage this picture was taken – though you can see how wet the street was. There are not very many images of this march extant. In very good condition £85 SOLD
- US SUFFRAGE ‘CINDERELLA’ STAMP  ‘Votes for the Woman Suffrage – 1915- Amendment in November’. A non-philatelic poster-type stamp showing a map of the USA, with ‘Equal Suffrage’ states coloured in yellow and ‘Manhood Suffrage’ states in black – probably the one designed by Caroline Katzenstein, executive secretary of the Equal Franchise Society of Philadelphia (see Florey, ‘Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia’ p.177). In fine condition £20
- VOTES FOR WOMEN, 26 July 1912  An incomplete copy – pp 693-698 (inc) and 703-708 (inc) – but gives a flavour £30
- “VOTES FOR WOMEN” FELLOWSHIP BADGE  An EXCEPTIONALLY RARE badge – I have never seen this before and, as far as I know, no example of it is held in any public collection. This is a bar badge enamelled in the colours of the ‘Votes for Women Fellowship’ – that is, purple, white and red. The latter colour is used in a diagonal section at the left of the bar – and contains the word ‘Fellowship’. Running horizontally across the bar is a section of white and underneath that one of red, which contains the words ‘Votes for Women’. On the reverse the badge carries the maker’s name, W.O. Lewis, Howard Street, Birmingham. The ‘Votes for Women’ Fellowship was founded by Frederick and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence on 1 November 1912 after they were forced to leave the WSPU. Their new organisation was built around their weekly paper ,’Votes for Women’. The Fellowship described itself as a common meeting ground for members of all suffage societies. There does not appear to have been an overwhelming rush to join the VFWF; subscription lists are short – and the paucity of its membership is doubtless a reason for the great rarity of the Fellowship’s badge. Members of the VFWF included Margaret Mackworth (later Lady Rhondda), Georgiana Solomon, Amy Hicks, Henry Nevinson and Margaret and Mary Thompson (details of all of whom may be found in my The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide). The badge is in very good condition. £1,500 SOLD
- VOTES FOR WOMEN FRIDAY APRIL 30, 1909  With a cartoon on the front by ‘A Patriot’ (Alfred Peasrse) making reference to the’Brawling Bill’ that was to be introduced to protect Parliament from suffragettes. Good condition – the spine has been taped and a couple of the 24pp are loose – but clean and unfolded £65
- WOMEN SHOULD VOTE LIBERAL Liberal Publication Dept, no date (1928?)  4-pp leaflet – appealing to the woman voter £5
- WOMEN’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT SOCIETY The Work of a Public Health Committee WLGS Oct 1918  4-pp leaflet, written by S.M. Smee, chairman of the Public Health Committee, 1912-14 and 1916-18. Good condition – with two punch hole in margin, with no loss of text £5
- WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION Crowned with Honour: a speech by Mrs Annie Besant, at the Royal Albert Hall, 28 March 1912 Woman’s Press 1912  The speech was delivered in the aftermath of the prison sentences handed down after the window-smashing demonstration in early March 1912. In it she extols ‘the martyrs of this cause [who] wil also be crowned with honour, because they realise that to suffer means in the long run to succeed..’ Double-sided leaflet (24cm high x 20cm wide) – in fine condition £50
- WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION Mrs Pankhurst’s Treatment in Prison, by Dr Ethel Smyth WSPU 1912  Statement by Dr Ethel Smyth regarding Mrs Pankhurst’s imprisonment in March 1912 – along with numerous other suffragettes, including Dr Smyth – after the window-smashing demonstration in London. The leaflet includes Dr Smyth’s lengthy letter to ‘The Times’, dated 17 April 1912, a reply from the Home Office, published in ‘The Times’ on 20 April, and Dr Smyth’s reply to that, published on 26 April. 4-pp leaflet (25.5cm high x 19cm wide) -very good – unusual. £120
- WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION ADVERTISEMENT  in the programme for St James’s Theatre, King Street, St James’s, London SW – 29 April 1909. The National Women’s Social and Political Union (as it was then) was advertising ‘An Exhibition of the Colours and Sale of Work’ to be held at the ‘Prince’s Skating Rink Knightsbridge SW’ from 13 -26 May – that is, the most ambitious fund-raising work that they staged. Incidentally, the main play on at the theatre at that time was A.E.W. Mason’s ‘Colonel Smith’, starring George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh – and the programme is packed with other advertisements and theatrical photos. Good – central section of the programme is free of the rather rusting staples. £38
- WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION ADVERTISEMENT FOR THEIR ROYAL ALBERT HALL MEETING  in a St James’s Theatre programme, 31 March 1909. The National Women’s Social and Political Union (as it was then) is advertising ‘A Public Meeting of Women’ in ‘The Royal Albert Hall on Thursday April 29th at 8pm’. Mrs Pethick-Lawrence was to take the chair and the speakers were Mrs Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst and others. ‘The Meeting will be attended by Delegates to the International Woman Suffrage Congress’ and there were to be ‘Special Presentations to Women who have suffered Imprisonment for Woman Suffrage’. The play of the day was Anthony Hope’s ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’. In fine condition – and laid in is a notice to the effect that one of the stars, Stella Patrick Campbell, was indisposed; we’ve all suffered that kind of disappointment. £65
- WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION BADGE  Purple, white and green enamelled shield-shaped badge – with ‘Votes for Women’ contained in the upper, green section, then a white chevron, and below that ‘W.SP.U’ in the bottom purple section. The badge was made by one of the WSPU’s regular badge makers, W. O. Lewis of Howard Street, Birmingham – a firm that was founded in 1832 and is still in business run by descendants of the founders. In very good condition £650 SOLD
- WSPU FLYER  Published in Southampton to advertise a meeting that ‘Mrs “General” Drummond’ was holding in ‘the Victoria Rooms on 20 March at 8pm’. I’ve done some research and the year was 1914. The flyer is headed ‘Votes for Women Women’s Social and Political Union’ Tickets were ‘Obtainable at Messrs Murdoch, Murdoch & Co, Music-sellers, 124 Above Bar’. Among her reported bon mots that evening were ‘They might say they never got anything when they put men’s backs up, but they never got anything when men’s backs were down’ and ‘If we can touch the financier sufficiently they will go to the Government and say they must settle this’. That was why they burned mansions.’ Printed in green on grey-green paper – a little creased, with a little tear in the top right-hand corner (nowhere near text) – not bad as a survivor of what was obviously a rather hearty meeting. £55 SOLD
- ANNIE KENNEY  photographed by Lambert Weston & Son, 39 Brompton Square, London. She looks very earnest and ethereal – I think the card dates from c 1909. Fine – unposted £120
- CHRISTABEL PANKHURST  black and white photograph of the portrait of Christabel by Ethel Wright, with Christabel’s printed signature along the bottom of the card. The card will date from c 1909, when the portrait was first exhibited. Having been owned by the family of Una Dugdale since that time, the portrait was bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery in 2011 and is on permanent display. This postcard – which is in fine condition and unposted- represents one of the WSPU’s ingenious methods of fund-raising. £80
- CHRISTABEL PANKHURST  photographed by Lambert Weston and Son (Lambert Weston and Son Ltd – Folkestone and Dover) I think the card dates from c 1907/8. Fine – unposted £60
- CHRISTABEL PANKHURST  photographed by Lizzie Caswell Smith, 309 Oxford Street, London W. Head and shoulders oval portrait, The caption is ‘Miss Christabel Pankhurst The Women’s Social and Political Union 4 Clement’s Inn, London WC. It was published by Sandle Bros. The card has been pinned up at its four corners and then roughly removed leaving holes – but in no way affecting the image £30
- FLORA DRUMMOND  She wears her WSPU (or as it was at this time ‘NWSPU’) regalia – peaked hat, epaulette, and ‘Votes for Women’ sash. The card bears the printed caption ‘General Drummond, the National Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn’. The photograph was taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith (309 Oxford St) and published by Sandle Bros. Unposted – fine condition – scarce. £180
- LADY CONSTANCE LYTTON CARD – SIGNED  Real photographic card of Lady Constance sitting at a desk, reading. The photograph us by Lafayette (Glasgow) and is captioned ‘Lady Constance Lytton Women’s Social and Political Union 4 Clement’s Inn Strand W.C.’ I think the card dates to the early days of the WSPU (she isn’t yet wearing a hunger strike medal, which she does in later portrait photos – and the use of the ‘WSPU’ name rather than ‘National Women’s Social and Political Union’ which was used after the split with the Women’s Freedom League makes me think it was published c 1907). The card is signed by Lady Constance underneath the caption. Good – unposted – with a slight crease to the middle of the rigght hand edge of the card £190
- LONDON LIFE. ‘VOTES FOR WOMEN’  A real photograph of a woman selling issue no 2 of ‘The Suffragette’ (the paper, edited by Christabel Pankhurst, that succeeded ‘Votes for Women’ in Oct 1912, after the removal of the Pethick-Lawrences from the leadership of the WSPU). She is not young, is elegantly dressed, and is wearing her ‘Holloway’ brooch, indicating that she has been imprisoned for the Cause. Ib Rotary Photographic Series ‘London Life’ – fine – a very clear image -unposted £65
- MISS CHRISTABEL PANKHURST  She is pictured in profile,sitting in a wicker chair in a garden, wearing a cool-looking cotton or voile dress.She has a newspaper on her knee which another photograph taken on the same occasion reveals to have been ‘The Suffragette’ – (see NPG x32608). The photograph was taken in Sept 1913 in France, to where she had escaped eighteen months earlier. The postcard was published by Lambert Weston and son Ltd (Dover, Folkestone and 39 Brompton Square, London SW). Fine – unposted – scarce £180
- MISS TERESA BILLINGTON  Real photographic postcard – full-length studio portrait. The card is headed ‘Votes for Women’ and underneath her name captioned ‘The Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn, Strand, London WC.’ It must date from before October 1907 which was when, with Mrs Despard, she broke from the WSPU to found the Women’s Freedom League. She married in February 1907, becoming Mrs Billington-Greig, so it is likely that the card predates her wedding, making it a very early WSPU card. Fine – Unposted £120
- MR AND MRS PETHICK LAWRENCE AND MISS CHRISTABEL PANKHURST GOING TO BOW STREET, OCTOBER 14 1908  Christabel was on trial, charged with inciting crowds to ‘rush’ the House of Commons – but she and the Pethick Lawrences look very cheerful. Published by Sandle Bros for the National Women’s Social and Political Union. Fine – unposted – scarce £180
- MRS CHARLOTTE DESPARD  real photographic postcard of her – taken in profile. She is sitting reading a book. On the reverse, written in pencil, is ‘Mrs Despard – (Sister of Sir John General french) & President of the Women’s Suffrage National Aid Corps, organised by the Women’s Freedom League. return to Mrs Thomson-Price, 42 Parkhill Rd, Hampstead’. £30
- MRS CHARLOTTE DESPARD  real photographic card, photograph by Lena Connell. Fine – unposted £30
- MRS LILIAN M. HICKS  – photographed by Lena Connell – an official Women’s Freedom League photographic postcard. Mrs Hicks had been an early member of the WSPU, but left to join the WFL in the 1907 split, returning in 1910 to the WSPU. Fine – unposted £35
- MRS PANKHURST  photograph by Jacolette. Her ‘Holloway Prison’ brooch is pinned to her artistic blouse . Very good – unposted £55
- MRS PANKHURST, MISS ANNIE KENNEY, & MRS PETHICK LAWRENCE  photographed in an open-topped car. At least Mrs Pankhurst and Annie are seated inside – on the back seat – while Mrs Pethick Lawrence stands alongside. All three women are wearing motor scarves to protect their hats. I think the car is ‘W.S. 95′ [ie Women’s Suffrage’], an Austin, painted and upholstered in the colours, with white wheels and a green body lined with a narrow purple stripe that the WSPU presented to Mrs Pethick Lawrence on her release from prison in April 1909.The cloth-capped driver is Mr Rapley from Holmwood, Surrey, where the Pethick Lawrences had their country house. The card was published by Sandle Bros and the type face used for the caption is the same as that for ‘Rush the House of Commons’ postcards that date from October 1909 – so I would deduce that this card was published around the same time. Comment on the back says ‘Given by Mrs Sto’hlor’ [I think] Fine – unposted £120
- MRS PETHICK-LAWRENCE  She stands, three-quarter length, with her hands behind her back. The caption is ‘Joint Editor of “Votes for Women” – ‘Honorary Treasurer National Women’s Social and Political Union 4 Clement’s Inn, W.c.’ Very good – unposted £55
- MRS WOLSTENHOLME ELMY  real photographic postcard of one of the suffrage campaigns most earnest workers and one of the WSPU’s earliest supporters. The photograph was taken in May 1907 when the WSPU-nominated photographer called at her home. Fine – unposted – scarce £120
- THE WOMEN’S GUILD OF EMPIRE Banner Making for the Great Demonstration, April 17th 1926  The Women’s Guild of Empire organized a demonstration at the critical time just before the General Strike to protest against ‘strikes and revolutionary activity in industry’. The march, which brought women (including, wrote Elsie Bowerman to the editor of ‘The Spectator’, ‘wives of working women who have had personal experience of strikes’) from all regions of the country to London, ended with a Mass Meeting in the Albert Hall, with Mrs Flora Drummond in the chair.The photograph shows Mrs D inspecting banners – ‘Efficiencey and Enterprise’ and another, the wording partially hidden, which may say ‘Best within the Empire’ (??) Issued by the Women’s Guild of Empire c 1926. Fine – unposted – unusual £95
- THE WOMEN’S GUILD OF EMPIRE Mrs Flora Drummond – Controller-in-Chief  Card published c 1926 by The Women’s Guild of Empire, from its headquarters at 24 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1. Fine -unposted – unusual £95
- VILLAGE FETE?  A real photographic postcard showing several ‘policemen’ on bicycles and behind them a ‘suffragette’, also on a bicycle, which is adorned with placards which probably say ‘Down with Men’ and ‘Votes for Women’. The ink message on the reverse reads ‘This is one of the teams I got up. It shows a suffragette driving four policemen’. £10 SOLD
- VOTES FOR WOMEN  placard is planted beside young girl standing on a barrel under the Trafalgar Square lion. A policeman walks in the background. One of a posed photographic Raphael Tuck series. Fair – a little creased – posted £25
Suffrage Artists’ Cards
- COMPANIONS IN DISGRACE  – the sweet girl graduate stands, robed, alongside a convict in his arrowed suit. The heading is ‘Polling Booth’ and the caption ‘Companions in Disgrace’ refers to their shared characteristic. The verse below explains further: ‘Convicts and Women kindly note,/ Are not allowed to have the vote…’ etc. Published by the Artists’ Suffrage League. Good – the card’s shiny surface is a little yellowing on the right-hand side – unposted £150
- IN THE SHADOW  A Suffrage Atelier card showing the government accepting petitions from men and holding aloft the flame of ‘Franchise’ while poor needlewomen toil and face starvation under the heading ‘Sweated Female Labour’. The top left corner of the card is broken – no where near the image – otherwise it is in good condition. Scarce £65 SOLD
- MRS POYSER AGAIN  ‘I’m not dnyin’ the women are foolish. The Almighty made ’em to match the men.’ Mrs Poyser is a character from ‘Adam Bede’ – a woman with a rough exterior and a heart of gold. Here is is indicating the House of Commons (‘the men’) as she holds up her ‘No Taxation without Representation’ standard. The card was published by the Artists’ Suffrage League and was posted in, I think, June 1909 to Miss Allwood at the Dairy College, Kingston, Derby, and the sender notes ‘Bought this at a Woman’s Suffrage Garden Fete.’ Fair – a little creased – unusual £85
- SEVEN TO TWO!  Silhouette figures – 2 women stand to one side while 7 men, their trades or professions identified by their clothing, make their way to the Polling Station. The caption explains ‘Seven to eight million men have VOTES. Only one-and-a-half to two million women would be entitled to vote if what we are asking for is granted.’ An attempt to allay the fear that women would dominate the electorate if the Conciliation Bill was passed. Published by the Artists’ Suffrage League. Fine – unposted £120
- THE ANTI-SUFFRAGIST  as a butterfly on a card by the artist, Ernestine Mills. The accompanying verse, ‘I don’t want to fly’, said she ‘I only want to squirm’/She drooped her wings defectedly/But still her voice was firm/’I do not want to be a fly/I want to be a worm….’ is by Charlotte Perkins Stetson (Gilman). A pretty coloured card – published herself by Ernestine Mills. Fine – unposted £120
- THE APPEAL OF WOMANHOOD  Black and white card by Louise Jacobs depicting ‘Womanhood’ hold a scroll saying ‘We Want the Vote to Stop the White Slave Traffic, Sweated Labour, and to Save the Children’. Behind ‘Womanhood’ are an array of downtrodden women and behind them the Houses of Paliament. This image was issued as a riposte to a similar one carrying the anti-suffrage message ‘No Votes Thank You’. Published by the Suffrage Atelier. In fine condition – scarce £150
- THOMSON-PRICE, Louisa Types of Anti-Suffragists  ‘The gentleman who thinks that ‘Women have no right to Vote because they can’t defend their Country.’ The gentleman is a weedy pen-pusher. Louisa Thomson-Price was an early member of the Women’s Freedom Le’ague, became a consultant editor of its paper, ‘The Vote’, and was a director of Minerva Publishing, publisher of the paper. She contributed a series of cartoons – including this one – in 1909/10. Louisa Thomson Price took part in the WFL picket of the House of Commons and was very much in favour of this type of militancy. Very good – slight marks across two corners where it has been held in an album – scarce £120
- THOMSON-PRICE, Louisa Types of Anti-Suffragists  ‘The gentleman who thinks that women ought not to work and therefore under-pays his typist’. The gentleman depicted is clearly a plutocrat. Louisa Thomson-Price was an early member of the Women’s Freedom League, became a consultant editor of its paper, ‘The Vote’, and was a director of Minerva Publishing, publisher of the paper. She contributed a series of cartoons – including this one – in 1909/10. Louisa Thomson Price took part in the WFL picket of the House of Commons and was very much in favour of this type of militancy. Very good – scarce £120
- ‘WHO SPENDS THE TAXES?’  is the caption – and the printed message down the right-hand side is ‘No Representation’. A little girl, pushing her doll in a pushchair, addresses a boy as he is about to enter a shop. He says ‘Look here – I’m going in here to spend my penny and your penny – I shall buy just what I like with them ’cause I’m a man, and you’ll have to stay outside and take what I geet you, ’cause you’re only a woman’. The artist was H.S. Adkins and the card was published by the Artists’ Suffrage League. The card has a message on the back – but must have been sent in an envelope as it is unstamped and unfranked. Very good £150
- WHY WON’T THEY LET THE WOMEN HELP ME?  reprint by the Communist Party of Great Britain of the original Joan Harvey Drew card issued by the Artists’ Suffrage League. Good – unposted £5 SOLD
- ‘YE ANTI-SUFFRAGE LEAGUE’  Snooty ladies with coronets and pince-nez ride past in their automobile – driven by chap with a crown. The car carries a placard ‘We have all we want. No votes for women’. Dated (1908)- published by the Artists’ Suffrage League and, unusually, the artist is a man, Charles Lane Vicary. Good- a little rubbed at the corners – unposted – very scarce £120 SOLD
- YOUNG NEW ZEALAND  cycles on her modern bicycle with its two wheels equal in size. The front one is labelled ‘Male and Female’ and the back one ‘Equal Electoral Rights’. She calls out to old John Bull who is struggling atop a penny farthing, ‘Oh Grandpapa! what a funny old machine. Why don’t you get one like mine?’ The artist is JHD [Joan Harvey Drew]. Published by the Artists’ Suffrage League. Very good- unposted – v scarce £120 SOLD
Commercial Comic Cards
- ARE WE DOWNHEARTED? NO!  Black and white postcard by Donald McGill – suffragette, holding on to her ‘Votes for Women’ banner, is carried into the Police Court by a policeman – her bottom very much to the fore – her umbrella fallen to the ground. Good – posted in Battersea on, I think, 24 December 1906 £45
- ‘AT THE SUFFRAGETTE MEETINGS  you can hear some plain things – and see them too!’ – is the caption to a card showing depictions of suffragettes as buck-toothed old maids. Very good – unposted £45
- BUT SURELY MY GOOD WOMAN DON’T YOU YEARN FOR SOMETHING …  The suffragettes are canvassing on the doorstep. The artist is Arthur Moreland; the publisher is C.W. Faulkner. Very good – unposted £45
- ‘HI! MISS! YER TROWSERS IS A-COMING DOWN’  shouts tyke to elegant young woman sporting ‘harem’ trousers. Pre-First World War, pub by Felix McGlennon. Not actually ‘suffrage’ but of the time. Very good – very glossy £25
- I PROTEST AGAINST MAN-MADE LAWS  The suffragette is in the dock. Artist is Arthur Moreland; publisher C.W. Faulkner. Very good – unposted £45
- NOW MADAM – WILL YOU GO QUIETLY OR SHALL I HAVE TO USE FORCE?  The suffragette is interrupting a meeting. Artist is Arthur Moreland; publisher is C.W. Faulkner. Fair – unposted £35
- ONCE I GET MY LIBERTY, NO MORE WEDDING BELLS FOR ME!  says harrassed dad as his wife walks out the door, leaving him to care for the babies. On the wall is a ‘Votes for Women’ poster. This is an American card sent from Washington to Illinois – but the message carried in the picture is very similar to those of British cards £35
- PETTICOAT GOVERNMENT  presumably the result of enfranchising women – Wife wields poker as her husband crawls out from under the tea table. She says, ‘Come along, come along, come along do, I’ve been waiting here for you’. Good – posted from London to Wincanton on 24 June 1911 £10
- SOUTHWOLD EXPRESS  ‘A slight engine trouble causes a delay – but is soon remedied’ is the caption. The artist/publisher is Reg Carter – in the ‘Sorrows of Southwold’ series. There are a number of joky cards about the Southwold train. In this one a suffragette sitting in a tree is taking advantage of a breakdown to lob a bomb – shouting ‘Votes for Women’. Very good £35
- THE LADIES CLUB  Captioned: ‘The Old Order Changeth’ – Edwardian lady is departing the rather arts and crafts sitting room, leavin g herhusband smoking his pipe and darning a sock in front of the fire. As she goes she says ‘Have got a card tournament at the Club old chappie. You needn’t sit up. Ta, Ta!’ The card is one of Ladies’ Club series depicting women and club life from different angles. The card was posted in Colchester in 1906. Very good £12 SOLD
- THE SUFFRAGETTE Addresses a meeting of Citizens  A card from a Raphael Tuck series. ‘the Suffragette’ – masculinized, wild-eyed, and wearing a boater and tie harangues a few snotty-nosed childrenIn Raphael Tuck ‘The Suffragette’ Good – posted in 1908 £45
- THEM PESKY SUFFRAGETTES WANTS EVERYTHING FOR THEMSELVES  says old man confronted with a door labelled ‘For Ladies Only’. A US postcard. Fine – unposted £30
- A THING OF THE PAST, OLD DEAR.  Harridan – wispy hair, big feet, short skirt – being carried off by policeman – while her companion, with ‘Votes for Women’ placard, looks on. Fair – a little creased – an English card originally but issued here, I think, by an American publisher. Certainly it was posted in the US to a Nevada address in 1908 £20
- THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT MAN BUILT  ‘And these are the members who’ve been sitting late/Coming out arm in arm, from a lengthy debate…’ Fashionably dressed couple, he in top hat and frock coat emerge, engaged in reasonable discussion, from the Houses of Parliament. An ink line at under the text carries the message ‘Will we ever live to see this.’ In BB London Series. Very good – posted in Clapton on 12 May 1909. £45
- THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT MAN BUILT  ‘And this is the home of the poor suffragette/And there’s room for a great many more of them in it yet…’ Burly suffragette being taken in hand by a policeman – with the towers of Holloway in the background. In BB London series. Very good- unposted £45
- THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT MAN BUILT  ‘The House that our statesmen for years have controlled/Ruling the world with mind fearless and bold/Can Woman expect to rule such a House/She that’s afraid of a poor little mouse….’ Suffragettes stands on stool as mouse scuttles past – with House of Commons in background. Good – posted 1912 £45
- VALENTINE SERIES:COMPARISONS The Attitude of Politicians towards Women’s Suffrage  1) At Election Time (when the politician willingly accepts a petition) 2) At Westminster (when a policeman holds the suffragette back as she tries to present a petition to an MP). Staged photographic scenes in colour. Very good -uncommon – unposted £38
- VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Gimme a Vote You Cowards  Printed in red and balck on white – policemen have a suffragette flat on the ground – while other comrades demosntrate around. Good – has been posted, but stamp removed £45
- VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Give Us a Vote Ducky! Oh do, There’s a Dear  wheedle three women as they make up to an aging gent. The caption reads ‘Why not try the Good Old Way?’ The sender has added little ink comments of her own (at least I think the sender was a woman). Good. Posted on 17 August 1907. £45
- VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Safe in the Arms of a Policeman  Printed in red and black on white – dishevelled viragos are carried away by red-faced policemen. Good £45
- VALENTINE’S SERIES The Visiting Magistrate (Scene, In Holloway Prison)  Magistrate: ‘What can I do for you? Have you any complaints to make?’ Suffragette: ‘Yes, I have one demand – Votes for Women’. Staged photographic scene in colour. Very good – unposted £38
- VALENTINE’S SERIES:COMPARISONS Comparisons are Odious  1) The male political prisoner (sits in his cell equipped with bookcase, wine and cigar) 2) The female political prisoner (the suffragette sits in her bare cell holding her duster and skilly).Staged photographic scenes in colour. Very good – uncommon – unposted £38
- VOTES FOR WOMEN: OUR VIEWS AT SOUTHEND-ON-SEA  Sufragette with purple, white and green ribbon around her hat and a purple, white and green tie is holding a ‘Votes for Women’ placard (which incorporates the Sylvia Pankhurst-designed angel motif), advertising ‘Our Views at Southend-on-Sea’. Behind are two photos of Southend’s pier and front. Similar cards were produced for various other seaside resorts. £35
- WHEN WOMEN VOTE: Washing Day  Father is in the kitchen bathing baby, while his wife and her friends sit in the parlour playing cards and eating chocolates – commenting ‘Yes, my old man is a lazy old wretch’. And that’s what will happen when women have the vote. Mitchell and Watkins series. Posted in 1908 £45
- 500 HOUSEWIVES Five Hundred Household Hints Country Life 1926  The hints originated in ‘House & Garden’ – supplied by readers. Very good £8
- ALLEN, Jennifer (ed) Lesbian Philosophies and Cultures State University of New York Press 1990  Paper covers – very good £5
- ALLSOPP, Anne The Education and Employment of Girls in Luton, 1874-1924: widening opportunities and lost freedoms Boydell Press/Bedfordshire Historical Record Society 2005  Examines the education of Luton girls and its relationship with employment opportunities. Mint in d/w £20
- ANDREWS, Maggie The Acceptable Face of Feminism: the Women’s Institute as a social movement Lawrence & Wishart 1997  Soft covers – mint £9
- Anon The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Shopping Retail Trading Standards Association no date   ‘How to be sure of getting value for money. How to be sure of distinguising good quality from bad. How to be sure of paying the right price.’ Card covers – very good £10
- ANON You And I Cookery Book: an effort to meet a need in the cheapest form Birling Publishing Co no date [1930s?/1940s?]  A spin-off of the ‘You and I’ magazine, published in connected with the YWCA. ‘Over 1000 carefully seleccted household hints and reccipes’. I can’t work out when this was published – it contains several recipes with ‘War-time’ in their titles – but am not sure if this is looking back to WW1 or whether it was published during WW2. But others seem to use a surprising amount of sugar and eggs for cooking in a time of strict rationing. But, whenever, ‘Economy’, was the watchword. Paper covers – front cover present but detached – back cover missing £2
- BASCH, Françoise Relative Creatures: Victorian women in society and the novel Schocken Books 1974  Very good £4
- BERRY, Mrs Edward And MICHAELIS, Madame (eds) 135 Kindergarten Songs and Games Charles and Dible, no date   ‘These songs are printed to supply a want in English Kindergartens’ – the music is, of course, included – as are movement instructions. Mme Michaelis ran the Croydon Kindergarten. Very good £48
- BLAIR, Kirstie Form & Faith in Victorian Poetry & Religion OUP 2012  By assessing the discourses of church architecture and liturgy the author demonstrates that Victorian poets both reflected on and affected ecclesiastical practices – and then focuses on particular poems to show how High Anglican debates over formal worship were dealt with by Dissenting, Broad Church, and Roman Catholic poets and other writers. Features major poets such as the Browning, Tennyson, Hopkins, Rossetti and Hardy – as well as many minor writers. Mint in d/w (pub price £62) £35
- BLUM, Deborah Ghost Hunters Century 2006  Study of the Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1882. Soft covers – mint £4
- BOARD OF EDUCATION Special Reports on Educational Subjects vol 15 HMSO 1905  ‘School Training for the Home Duties of Women. part 1 The Teaching of “Domestic Science” in the United States of America’. Exhaustive – 374pp – paper covers – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. £10
- BOARD OF EDUCATION Special Reports on Educational Subjects vol 19 HMSO 1907  ‘School Training for the Home Duties of Women. Part III The Domestic Training of Girls in Germany and Austria’. Paper wrappers marked and worn -internally good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £8 SOLD
- Boucé, Paul-Gabriel (ed) Sexuality in 18th-century Britain Manchester University Press 1982  Includes essays by Roy Porter, Ruth Perry and Pat Rogers – among others. Very good in d/w £24
- BRAITHWAITE, Brian And BARRELL, Joan The Business of Women’s Magazines Kogan Page, 2nd ed 1988  Fine £8
- BRANDON, Ruth Other People’s Daughters: the life and times of the governess Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2008  Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £12
- BRITTAIN, Vera Lady Into Woman: a history of women from Victoria to Elizabeth II Andrew Dakers 1953  Good – though ex-public library £8
- BRUMBERG, Joan Jacobs Fasting Girls: the history of anorexia nervosa Vintage 2000  Soft covers – fine £8
- BRYANT, Margaret The Unexpected Revolution: a study in the history of the education of women and girls in the nineteenth century University of London Institute of Education  An excellent study. Soft covers – fine £18
- BURSTALL, Sara A. The Story of the Manchester High School for Girls 1871-1911 Manchester University Press 1911  Cover marked and faded – internally good. Scarce £38
- BY THE AUTHOR OF ENQUIRE WITHIN UPON EVERYTHING The Reason Why: Domestic Science Houlston & Sons c 1900? reprint  First published in 1869 to give ‘Intelligible Reasons for the Various Duties which a Housewife has to Perform’. Introducing ‘science’ into the ‘domestic’. Answers to such questions as ‘Why does flesh when much boiled become tasteless and stringy?’; ‘Why do we blow the fire?’; ‘Why should hair too distant from the eyebrows be parted only in the centre?’; ‘Why is it necessar to turn mattresses at frequent intervals’ etc etc. Good £8
- BYRNE, Katherine Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination CUP 2010  Explores the representations of tuberculosis in 19th-century literature and culture. fears about gender roles, degeneration, national efficiency and sexual transgression all play their part in the portrayal of ‘consumption’, a disease which encompassed a variety of cultural associations. Mint in d/w (pub price £55) £35
- CALVERTON, V.F. and SCHMALHAUSEN, S.D. (eds)
Sex in Civilsation Macaulay Co (NY) 1929 (reprint)  With an introduction by Havelock Ellis. Contributors include Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Margaret Sanger. Good – 719pp – heavy £12
- CHAPMAN, Beatrice Wallis And CHAPMAN, Mary Wallis Status of Women Under English Law: a compendious epitome of legislative enactments and social and political events arranged as a continuous narrative with references to authorities and acts of Parliament George Routledge 1909  ‘..rendering easily accessible the main facts of the political position of women from 1066 to the present-day.’ Good – and scarce. £65
- CHAPONE, Mrs On the Improvement of the Mind together with Dr Gregory’s, Legacy to His Daughters and Lady Pennington’s, Advice to Her Absent Daughter, with An Additional letter on the Management and Education of Infant Children Scott, Webster and Geary, no date c. 1835  A compendium of Good Conduct – a ‘four in one’. With engraved frontispiece and title page -good in slightly rubbed half leather and marbled boards £38 SOLD
- CHASE, Ellen Tenant Friends in Old Deptford Williams and Norgate 1929  With an introduction from the work of Octavia Hill. Ellen Chase (1863-1949) was an American who in 1886 came over from Boston to work with Octavia Hill. The book begins with a chapter describing ‘The management of houses on the Octavia Hill plan’ and ends with ‘Notes on house management’ – in between are descriptions of life in the slum ‘courts’ of Deptford. This copy bears the ownership inscription of ‘Elizabeth Sturge 2 Durdham Park Bristol’ (a house that, incidentally, now bears a blue plaque recording her occupancy) – one of Bristol’s pioneers in the field of women’s suffrage and women’s education Very good – scarce £85
- CLAPP, Elizabeth and JEFFREY, Julie Roy (eds) Women, Dissent and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790-1865 OUP 2011  Essays by David Turley, Timothy Whelan, Alison Twells, Clare Midgeley, Carol Lasser, Julie Roy Jeffrey, Stacey robertson and Judie Newman – with an Introduction by Elizabeth Clapp. Mint in d/w (pub price £60) £25
- CLARKE, Patricia The Governesses: letters from the colonies 1862-1882 Hutchinson 1985  Fine in fine d/w £7
- COHEN, Monica Professional Domesticity in the Victorian Novel: women, work and home CUP 1998  Offers new readings of narratives by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot, Emily Eden etc to show how domestic work, the most feminine of all activities, gained much of its social credibility by positioning itself in relation to the emergent professions. Soft cover – fine £25
- COLLET, Clara Report by Miss Collet on the Money Wages of Indoor Domestic Servants HMSO 1899  Women workers were in the overwhelming majority of those considered in this report. Fascinating information. Very good in original card covers £55
- CORNFORD, L. Cope And YERBURY, F.R. Roedean School Ernest Benn 1927  Large format – heavily illustrated – photographs and line drawings – good internally, spine cloth split £5
- CRAIG, Elizabeth Housekeeping Collins 1947  With many photographs. In ‘Elizabeth Craig’s Household Library’ series. Good in torn d/w £8
- CRAWFORD, Elizabeth Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle Francis Boutle 2009 (r/p)  Pioneering access to education at all levels for women, including training for the professions, the women of the Garrett circle opened the way for women to gain employment in medicine, teaching, horticulture and interiior design – and were also deeply involved in the campaign for women’s suffrage. Soft covers, large format, over 70 illustrations. Mint – new book £25
- DAVID, Deirdre (ed) The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel CUP 2012 (2nd ed)  This second edition includes essays by Kate Flint, Caroline Levine, Nancy Armstrong, Lyn Pykett and Clare Pettit – amongst others. Soft covers – mint £15
- DICKENS, Andrea Janelle Female Mystic: great women thinkers of the Middle Ages I.B. Tauris 2009  Soft covers – fine £10
- DON VANN, J. and VANARSDEL, Rosemary T. (eds) Periodicals of Queen Victoria’s Empire: an exploration University of Toronto Press 1996  Fine in fine d/w £18
- DYHOUSE, Carol Feminism and the Family in England 1880-1939 Basil Blackwell 1989  Soft covers – very good £12
- ELLIS, Mrs Sarah Stickney The Select Works Henry G. Langley (New York) 1844  Includes ‘The Poetry of Life’, ‘Pictures of Private Life’, ‘A Voice From the Vintage, on the force of example addressed to those who think and feel’
Good in original decorative cloth £48
- FINDLAY, J.J. (ed) The Young Wage-Earner and the Problem of His Education: essays and reports Sigwick and Jackson 1918  For ‘His Education’ read also ‘Hers’. The essays include: ‘From Home Life to Industrial Life: with special reference to adolescent girls, by James Shelley, prof of education, University College, Southampton; ‘The Young Factory Girl’ by emily Matthias, superintendent of women employees, the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Co, Bradford and the reports include: ‘Working Girls and Trade Schools (London)’ by Theodora Pugh and ‘The Sons and Daughters of Farming Folk’ by J.J. Findlay. Very good
- FREVERT, Ute Women in German History: from bourgeois emancipation to sexual liberation Berg 1989  Fine in d/w £8
- FRYE, Susan And ROBERTSON, Karen (Eds) Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens: women’s alliances in early modern England OUP 1999  A collection of essays exploring how early modern women associated with other women in a variety of roles, from alewives to midwives, prostitutes to pleasure seekers, slaves to queens, serving maids to ladies in waiting …’. Fine £28
- GATHORNE-HARDY, Jonathan The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny Victorian (& Modern History) Book Club 1972  Good in d/w £3
- GILBERT, Sandra And GUBAR, Susan No Man’s Land: the place of the woman writer in the twentieth century Yale University Press 1994  Vol 3 – ‘Letters From the Front’ .477pp – mint in d/w £25
- GOLLANCZ, Victor (ed) The Making of Women: Oxford essays in feminism Allen & Unwin 2n ed, 1918  Contributions from, among others, Maude Royden and Eleanor Rathbone. Good – scarce £65
- HARTLEY, C. GASQUOINE Motherhood and the Relationship of the Sexes Eveleigh Nash 1917  Includes a chapter ‘The Position of Women as Affected by the War’. Good – uncommon £10
- HASLETT, Caroline Teach Yourself Household Electricity English Universities Press, 3rd ed 1953  ‘It is but a short span in time since electric cookers and fires, vacuum-cleaners and washing-machines were timidly approached novelties, since electricity in the home meant electric light and little else; yet see to-day how far the well-electrified home outstrips these meagre limitations, how commonplace a sight is a well-equipped kitchen’. Good in torn d/w £5
- HASLETT, Caroline (ed) The Electrical Handbook For Women The English Universities Press Ltd, 3rd ed 1939  Packed with information – diagrams and photographs. Very good in chipped d/w £12
- HELSINGER, Elizabeth Et Al (eds) The Woman Question: Social Issues, 1837-1883 Manchester University Press 1983  Volume II of ‘The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883’. Fine £15
- HELSINGER, Elizabeth K. Et Al (eds) The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883 Manchester University Press 1983  Vol 1, ‘Defining Voices’. Focuses on representative texts, figures and controversies for what they reveal about the general character of the Woman Question rather than their historical connections with earlier and later phases of the debate. Fine £15
- HESSELGRAVE, Ruth Avaline Lady Miller and the Batheaston Literary Circle Yale University Press 1927  An 18th-century Bath literary salon. Lady Miller was the first English woman to describe her travels in Italy. Fine £55
- HILL, Georgiana Women in English Life: from mediaeval to modern times Richard Bentley 1896  An excellent study – in two volumes. Most of the second volume is devoted to the position of women at the end of the 19th century – written by one who was very much involved with the woman’s movement. Very good – a little bumped at top and bottom of spine. A scarce set £75
- HOFFMAN, P.C. They Also Serve: the story of the shop worker Porcupine Press 1949  Soft covers – very good £8
- HOLDSWORTH, Angela Out of the Doll’s House: the story of women in the 20th century BBC 1988 (r/p)  Paper covers – very good £5
- HOLLIS, Patricia Ladies Elect: women in English local government 1865-1914 OUP 1987  Excellent study. Paper covers – good – now a scarce book £23
- HOLT, Anne A Ministry To The Poor: being a history of the Liverpool Domestic Mission Society, 1836-1936 Henry Young (Liverpool) 1936  Very good – scarce £45
- HORSFIELD, Margaret Biting the Dust: the joys of housework Fourth Estate 1997  Mint in d/w £5
- (HUTCHINSON) Kathleen Coburn (ed) The Letters of Sara Hutchinson from 1800 to 1835 Routledge 1954  Friend of Mary and William Wordsworth – loved by Coleridge. Good £18
- JAMES, Selma Sex, Race and Class Falling Wall Press 1975  Paper covers – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £5
- JEFFREYS, Sheila The Spinster and Her Enemies: feminism and sexuality 1880-1930 Pandora 1985  Soft covers – fine £8
- JOHNSON, Patricia E. Hidden Hands: working-class women and Victorian social-problem fiction Ohio University Press 2001  ‘Argues that the female industrial worker became more dangerous to represent than the prostitute or the male radical because the worker exposed crucial contradictions between the class and gender ideologies of the period and its economic realities’. Soft covers – mint £15
- KAPLAN, Cora Sea Changes: culture and feminism Verso 1986  Soft covers – fine £8
- KAPLAN, Gisela Contemporary Western European Feminism Allen & Unwin 1992  Fine in d/w £5
- KENEALY, Arabella Feminism and Sex-Extinction E.P. Dutton & Co (NY) 1920  Anti-feminist eugenicist polemic. US edition is scarce. Very good internally – cloth cover a little bumped and rubbed £25
- KERTZER, David and BARBAGLIO, Marzio (eds) Family Life in the Long Nineteenth Century 1789-1913 Yale University Press 2002  A collection of essays under the headings: Economy and Family Organization: State, Religion, Law and the Family; Demographic Forces; Family Relations. 420pp Heavy. Mint in d/w £18
- KIRKHAM, Margaret Jane Austen, Feminism and Fiction Harvester 1983  Soft covers – fine £10
- KLEIN, Viola Working Wives: a survey of facts and opinions concerning the gainful employment of married women in Britain Institute of Personnel Management no date (1960)  A survey carried out in co-operation with Mass Observation Ltd. Paper covers faded – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £10
- LEE, Julia Sun-Joo The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel OUP 2010  Investigates the shaping influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel in the years between the British Abolition Act and the American Emancipation Proclamation – and argues that Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thackeray and Dickens integrated into their works generic elements of the slave narrative. Mint in d/w (pub price £40) £15
- LIDDINGTON, Jill The Long Road to Greenham: feminism and anti-militarism in Britain since 1820 Virago 1989  Soft covers – very good £10
- LLEWELYN DAVIES, Margaret (ed) Life As We Have Known it by Co-operative Working Women Virago 1977  First published in 1931- with an introduction by Virginia Woolf. Soft covers – good £5
- LLEWELYN DAVIES, Margaret (ed) Maternity: letters from working women collected by the Women’s Co-operative Guild Virago 1984 (r/p)  First published in 1915. Soft covers – very good £8
- LOANE, M. An Englishman’s Castle Edward Arnold 1909  Martha Loane was a district nurse – this study of the homes of the poor is the result of her social investigation. Good £18
- LOFTIE, W.J. A Plea for Art in the House: with special reference to the economy of collecting works of art, and the importance of taste in education and morals Macmillan 1879 (r/p)  First published in 1876 – around the same time as Rhoda and Agnes Garrett’s book in the same series ‘Art at Home’ – and evincing many of the same touchstone’s of taste in home decoration. Goodish – a little rubbed and bumped £18
- LOOTENS, Tricia Lost Saints: silence, gender, and Victorian literary canonization University Press of Virginia 1996  Fine in d/w £35
- LYNCH, Mary Sewing Made Easy The World’s Work 1940  Co-published with Garden City Books (NY). How to make your 1940 costume – acknowledgement is made to Simplicity Patterns many of whose patterns are included in the book. Very good – large format £8
- MCCANN, Jean Thomas Howell and the School at Llandaff D. Brown (Cowbridge) 1972  Good – ex-university library £15
- MACCARTHY, B.G. The Female Pen; women writers and novelists 1621-1818 Cork University Press 1994  First published in 1944, this edition with an introduction by Janet Todd. Soft covers – 530pp – fine £12
- MCGREGOR, O.R. Divorce in England: a centenary study Heinemann 1957  Very good in d/w £10
- MCQUISTON, Liz Women in Design: a contemporary view Trefoil 1988  Highlights the work of 43 designers from Britain, the US, Europe and Japan. Very good in d/w £5
- MALMGREEN, Gail Neither Bread nor Roses: utopian feminists and the English working class, 1800-1850 John L. Noyce (Brighton). 1978 (r/p)  A ‘Studies in Labour’ pamphlet – 44pp. Soft covers – very good £15
- MANNIN, Ethel Practitioners of Love: some aspects of the human phenomenon Hutchinson 1969  A study of ‘Civilised Man’s inordinate capacity for the biological and psychological process called “falling in love”‘. Perhaps Ethel Mannin is ripe for reappraisal. Very good in d/w £3
- MARKS, Lara Metropolitan Maternity maternity and infant welfare services in early 20th century London Rodopi 1996  Soft covers – fine £22
- MARTIN, Jane Women and the Politics of Schooling in Victorian and Edwardian England Leicester University Press 1999  Mint (pub price £65) £35
- MASON, Michael The Making of Victorian Sexuality OUP 1994  Fine in d/w £14
- MEWS, Hazel Frail Vessels: woman’s role in women’s novels from Fanny Burney to George Eliot Athlone Press 1969  Very good in d/w £12
- MILL, John Stuart The Subjection of Women Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer 1869 (2nd ed)  In original mustard embossed cloth – top inch or so of spine split and frayed. With faded shelf-mark sticker on spine and label on front paste-down of the Burnley Mechanics’ Institute. Front inside hinge a little stretched. Otherwise good internally. I’m pleased to think that the members of the Mechanics’ Institute took such an obvious interest in the subject. £85
- MINISTRY OF LABOUR & NATIONAL SERVICE Report on Post-War Organisation of Private Domestic Employment HMSO 1945  Interesting snapshot of society on the cusp of change. Paper covers – fine – 26pp £12
- MORRIS, A.J.A (ed) Edwardian Radicalism, 1900-1914: some aspects of British radicalism Routledge 1974  Articles on ‘The Radical Press’, ‘1906: Revival and Revivalism’ (by Stephen Koss), ‘H.G. Wells and the Fabian Society’ (by Margaret Cole); ‘Socialism and progressivism in the political thought of Ramsay MacDonald’, amongst others – but no mention of the women’s movement. Times change, I doubt that such an omission would pass muster now. Very good in d/w £10
- MUMM, Susan (ed) All Saints Sisters of the Poor: an Anglican Sisterhood in the 19th century Boydel Press/Church of England Record Society 2001  A history of the Sisterhood that was founded by Harriet Brownlow Byron in 1850 to work in the slums of Marylebone – but then spread its net much wider. This volume comprises material drawn from the Sisterhood’s archives. V. interesting. Mint £30
- NORWICH HIGH SCHOOL 1875-1950 privately printed, no date   A GPDST school. Very good internally – green cloth covers sunned – ex-university library £15
- ORRINSMITH, Mrs The Drawing Room: its decoration and furniture Macmillan 1877  In the ‘Art at Home’ series. ‘The author has endeavoured to give more particular directions as to the furnishing and adornment of the Drawing-Room than was possible in the Miss Garretts’ volume treating of the whole subject of ‘House Decoration’ .’ Very good – missing free front end paper many illustrations – a scarce book £45
- OSBORNE, Honor And MANISTY, Peggy A History of the Royal School for Daughters of Officers of the Army 1864-1965 Hodder & Stoughton 1966  Good – ex-university library £12
- PALMER, Beth Women’s Authorship and Editorship in Victorian Culture OUP 2011  Draws on extensive periodical and archival material to bring new perspectives to the study of sensation fiction in the Victorian period. Mint in d/w (pub price £60) £35
- PHILLIPS, M. And TOMPKINSON, W.S. English Women in Life and Letters OUP 1927  Describes the lives of Englishwomen of the past, some rich, others poor and unknown – using both historical sources and fiction – from the 14th century to the mid 19th. Very good £20
- PHILLIPS, Margaret Mann Willingly to School: memories of York College for Girls 1919-1924 Highgate Publications 1989  Good in card covers – though ex-library £10
- POOVEY, Mary Uneven Developments: the ideological work of gender in mid-Victorian England Virago 1989  Paper covers – fine £12
- RAPPOPORT, Jill Giving Women: alliance and exchange in Victorian culture OUP 2012  examines the literary expression and cultural consequences of English women’s giving from the 1820s to the First World War – in the work of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Gaskell and Christina Rossetti – as well as in literary annuals and political pamphlets. Through giving, women redefined the primary allegiances of teh everyday lives, forged public coalitions, and advanced campaigns for abolition, slum reform, eugenics, and suffrage. Mint in d/w (pub price £45.99) £32
- RENDALL, Jane The Origins of Modern Feminism: women in Britain, France and the United States 1780-1860 Macmillan 1985  Soft covers – very good £15
- ROBINSON, Annabel, PURKIS, John, MASSING, Ann A Florentine Procession: a painting by Jane Benham Hay at Homerton College, Cambridge Homestead Press (Cambridge) 1997  A study of the Pre-raphaelite style painting and its artist – who was a friend of Bessie Rayner Parkes. With colour reproduction of the large painting. Paper covers – mint £8
- ROBINSON, Jane Angels of Albion: women of the Indian mutiny Viking 1996  Very good in rubbed d/w £8
- ROBINSON, Jane Pandora’s Daughters: the secret history of enterprising women Constable 2002  A study of 100 or so women, over 25 centuries, who chose to make an independent way through life. Fine in d/w £10
- SALES, Roger Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England Routledge 1996  Soft covers – mint £15
- SEARLE, Arthur (ed) Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 Royal Historical Society 1983  In the main letters to Lady Joan Barrington, the focal point of the extended family, the dowager and respected matriarch on a recognisable early 17th-century pattern. Very good £12
- SEIDLER, Victor The Achilles Heel Reader: men, sexual politics and socialism Routledge 1991  Paper covers – mint £5
- SHIMAN, Lilian Women and Leadership in Nineteenth-Century England Macmillan 1992  Fine in d/w (which has slight tear at top of spine) £28
- SHOWALTER, Elaine Inventing Herself: claiming a feminist intellectual heritage Picador 2001  An exploration of feminist intellectuals from the 18th century to the present – from Mary Wollstonecraft to Naomi Woolf. Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £15
- SPROULE, Anna The Social Calendar Blandford Press 1978  Takes us through the Season. Very good in d/w £5
- STAFFORD, H.M. Queenswood: the first sixty years 1894-1954 privately printed 1954  History of the school. Good – ex-college library £12
- STANLEY, Liz Et Al (eds) Auto/Biography: Bulletin of the British Sociological Association Study Group on Auto/Biography (1993)  Vol 2, no 1 ‘Research Practices’. Soft covers – fine £9
- STENTON, Doris Mary The English Woman in History Allen & Unwin 1957  Good reading copy – ex-library £15
- TAYLOR, Barbara Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination CUP 2003  Soft covers – fine £17
- TAYLOR, Jane Contributions of Q.Q. Jackson & Walford 5th ed, 1855  The majority of these essays were first published in the ‘Youth’s Magazine’, between 1816 and 1822. Good in original cloth £15
- THE EDITOR OF ‘ENQUIRE WITHIN UPON EVERYTHING’ The Practical Housewife: a complete encyclopaedia of domestic economy and family medical guide Houlston & Sons new ed, no date [c 1890s?]  ‘Will lessen the cares of domestic management, aid the practice of household economy and prove a help in many emergencies.’ The index runs from ‘Ablution, the importance of’ to ‘Zinc ointment’. Good £10
- THE ENGLISHWOMAN’S YEAR BOOK AND DIRECTORY 1904 A & C Black 1904  Indispensable source of information. Very good internally in library binding £80
- THE ENGLISHWOMAN’S YEARBOOK AND DIRECTORY 1901 A & C Black 1901  Ed by Emily Janes. Packed with information. Good internally – cloth covers marked – scarce £80
- THE POETRY REVIEW The Saint Catherine Press May 1912  Special ‘Women Poets’ issue. Includes articles on Christina Rossetti, Alice Meynell and Katherine Tynan – and reviews of others – such as Lady Margaret Sackville, Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne,Lilian Sauter, Zoe Akins etc. Paper covers – good £18
- TOBIN, Beth Fowkes Superintending the Poor: charitable ladies and paternal landlords in British fiction, 1770-1860 Yale University Press 1993  Mint in d/w £18
- TODD, Janet Gender, Art and Death Continuum (NY) 1993  Mint in d/w £14
- TYLECOTE, Mabel The Education of Women at Manchester University 1883 to 1933 Manchester University Press 1941  With a newscutting obituary of Dame Mabel Tylecote laid in. Good – scarce £40
- VALENZE, Deborah The First Industrial Woman OUP 1995  Examines the underlying assumptions about gender and work that informed the transformation of English society, and in turn, ideas about economic progress. Charts the birth of a new economic order resting on social and sexual hierarchies which remain a part of our contemporary lives. Soft covers – mint £15
- VINCE, Mrs Millicent Decoration and Care of the Home W. Collins 1923  Mrs Vince had been a pupil of the pioneer ‘House Decorator’, Agnes Garrett. Very good in rubbed d/w £18
- WANDOR, Michelene Post-War British Drama: looking back in gender Routledge, revised edition 2001  Soft covers – mint £12
- WEBSTER’S ROYAL RED BOOK or Court and Fashionable Register for May 1876 Webster and Larkin 1876  A London street guide (Abbey Gardens, St John’s Wood to Young St, Kensington) giving the names of individual householders – combined with a list of the names and addresses of the ‘Fashionable’ – a wide swathe of middle-class London. A very useful directory. In fair condition – very good internally -clean and tight – but decorative, gilt embossed cloth is rubbed and sewing has parted at inside back cover. This early directory is quite scarce £30
- (WOLLSTONECRAFT) John Windle Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin: a bibliography of the first and early editions with briefer notes on later editions and translations Oak Knoll Press 2nd ed. 2000  Fine £5
- WOLPE, Anne-Marie Some Processes in Sexist Education Women’s Research and Resources Centre 1977  Explorations in Feminism series no1977. Soft covers – very good £8
- WOODS, Edgar & Diana Things That Are Not Done: an outspoken commentary on popular habits and a guide to correct conduct Universal Publications, no date (1937)  Good £12
- The Ladies’ Who’s Who (with which is incorporated the Ladies’ Court Book and Guide – including Anglo-American Section) The International Art & Publishing Co, Ltd 1923  759-pp of biographical reference – and advertisements. Good and tight in red cloth covers decorated in gilt £55
- (ADDAMS) Louise Knight Jane Addams:
Spirit in Action Norton 2011  Biography of the US campaigner for international peace and social justice. Mint in d/w £10
- (ALLEN) John C. Hirsh Hope Emily Allen: medieval scholarship and feminism Pilgrim Books (Oklahoma) 1988  Biography of an American medieval scholar, born in 1883 – who spent time at Newnham. Fine £15
- (ALVAREZ) Al Alvarez Where Did it All Go Right: an autobioraphy Richard Cohen Books 1999  Poet, critic, novelist, poker player , rock climber- and friend of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Fine in fine d/w £6
- (AMBERLEY) Bertrand and Patricia Russell (eds) The Amberley Papers: the letters and diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley Hogarth Press 1937  The epitome of radical liberalism in the mid-19th-century. Both died tragically young. Good £45
- ANON (Agnes Maud Davies) A Book with Seven Seals Cayme Press 1928  First edition of a classic of Victorian childhood – I think perhaps it is a ‘faction’ – am not sure that it is actually a memoir. If I said that it strikes me as having a hint of Rachel Ferguson about it, those that are familiar with her work will know what I mean. The author’s name was withheld for this first edition. An elegant book – cover a little blotched £15
- (ARNOLD-FOSTER) T.W. Moody and R.A.J. Hawkins (eds) Florence Arnold-Foster’s Irish Journal OUP 1988  She was the niece and adopted daughter of W.E. Foster. The journals covers the years 1880-1882 when he was chief secretary for Ireland. Fine in slightly rubbed d/w £10
- (ASHBURTON) Virginia Surtees The Ludovisi Goddess: the life of Louisa Lady Ashburton Michael Russell 1984  She was possibly proposed to by Browning – and was the patroness (and perhaps lover) of Harriet Hosmer. Fine in d/w £18
- (BEALE) Elizabeth Raikes Dorothea Beale of Cheltenham Constable 1908  Good £15
- (BEETON) Kathryn Hughes The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton Harper 2006  Excellent biography. Soft covers – fine £6
- BELL, Alan (ed and with an introduction by) Sir Leslie Stephen’s ‘Mausoleum Book’ OUP 1977  Intimate autobiography written for Stephen’s immediate family after the death of his wife, Julia, the mother of Vanessa and Virginia. Very good in d/w £12
- (BELL) Regina Marler (ed) Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell Moyer Bell (US) 1998  Soft covers – very good £15
- (BENSON) Arthur C. Benson Life and Letters of Maggie Benson John Murray 1918  Life of an exceptionally able – although ultimately tragic – woman – member of the rather extraordinary Benson family. Good £28
- (BEWICK) Jenny Uglow Nature’s Engraver: the life of Thomas Bewick Faber 2006  Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £10
- (BRANDIS), Marianne Brandis Frontiers and Sanctuaries: a woman’s life in Holland and Canada McGill-Queen’s University Press 2006  The life of Madzy Brender a Brandis (1910-1984) – her experiences in war, as an immigrant and pioneer, wife and mother, writer and painter, and an invalid. Mint in slightly nicked d/w £10
- (BRETTEL) Caroline Brettell Writing Against the Wind: a mother’s life history SR Books 1999  Biography of the author’s mother, a Canadian journalist, who worked from the 1930s to the 1980s. Interesting. Mint £8
- (BRONTES) Brian Wilks The Illustrated Brontes of Haworth: scenes and characters from the lives and writings of the Bronte sisters Collins 1986  Fine in fine d/w £8
- (BROUGHTON) Marilyn Wood Rhoda Broughton: profile of a novelist Paul Watkins 1993  Rhoda Broughton (1840-1920) was one of the most famous and successful late-Victorian women novelists. Fine in d/w £15
- (BURNEY) Janice Farrar Thaddeus Frances Burney: a literary life St Martin’s Press 2000  Soft covers – very good £8
- (BURNEY) Joyce Hemlow (ed) Fanny Burney: selected letters and journals OUP 1986  Follows her career from her romantic marriage to the impoverished French émigré General d’Arblay to her death 46 years later. Fine in fine d/w £12
- (BURNEY) Kate Chisholm Fanny Burney: her life 1752-1840 Vintage 1999  Soft covers – fine £5
- CHAPMAN, Barbara Boxing Day Baby QueenSpark Market Books 1994  She was born in Brighton on Boxing Day in 1927. Soft covers – 34pp – very good £4
- (CLIVE) Mary Clive (ed) Caroline Clive: from the diary and family papers of Mrs Archer Clive (1801-1873) Bodley Head  Life among the ‘Landed Gentry’ – beautifully edited by Mary Clive – who had the knack. Good in rubbed d/w £10
- (COLETTE) Herbert Lottman Colette: a life Minerva 1991  Paper covers – good £2
- CRAWFORD, Anne et al (eds) Europa Biographical Dictionary of British Women: over 1000 notable women from Britain’s Past Europa 1983  Soft covers – 536pp – fine £10
- (DAYUS) Kathleen Dayus The Best of Times Virago 1991  The 4th volume in her autobiography. Soft covers – very good £5
- (DAYUS) Kathleen Dayus Her People Virago 1982  Soft covers – very good. With Carmen Callil’s bookplate on inside front cover and her signature on title page. £5
- (DE STAEL/CONSTANT) Renee Winegarten Germaine de Stael and Benjamin Constant: a dual biography Yale University Press 2008  Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w £12
- (DU MAURIER) Judith Cook Daphne: a portrait of Daphne du Maurier Bantam Press 1991  Very good in d/w £5
- (DU MAURIER) Martin Shallcross The Private World of Daphne Du Maurier Robson Books 1991  Biography – by a friend. Fine in d/w £5
- (EDEN) Violet Dickinson (Ed) Miss Eden’s Letters Macmillan 1919  Born, a Whig, in 1797. Her letters are full of social detail. In 1835 she went to India with her brother when he became governor-general. Very good £28
- (ELEANOR) Ralph Turner Eleanor of Aquitaine Yale University Press 2009  Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £15
- (ELIOT) Carole Seymour-Jones Painted Shadow: a lfie of Vivienne Eliot Constable & Robinson 2001  Fine in fine d/w £9
- (ELIZABETH) Philip Yorke (ed) Letters of Princess Elizabeth of England, daughter of King George III, and Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg written for the most part to Miss Louisa Swinburne T. Fisher Unwin 1898  Full of social details – letters written both from England and Germany. Good £38
- (EUGENIE) Joyce Cartlidge Empress Eugénie: her secret revealed Magnum Opus Press 2008  The mystery of an illegitimate child…Soft covers – fine £5
- (FRAME) Janet Frame An Autobiography Women’s Press 1991 (r/p)  Contains the three vols that comprise her autobiography – ‘To the Is-land’, ‘An Angel at My Table’ and ‘The Envoy from Mirror City’. Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w £10
- (GAUTIER) Joanna Richardson Judith Gautier: a biography Quartet 1986  Biography of French woman of letters – and muse. Soft covers – fine £6
- (GLADSTONE) Lucy Masterman (ed) Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew): her diaries and letters Methuen 1930  Daughter of Gladstone, born in 1847, excellent diary and letters, 1858-to her death (1927). Very good in d/w £18
- (GLASPELL) Barbara Ozieblo Susan Glaspell: a critical biography University of North Carolina Press 2000  Soft covers – fine in fine d/w £18
- (HALDANE) Elizabeth Haldane From One Century to Another Alexander Maclehose 1937  She was born in 1862, into an eminent Scottish Liberal family – an interesting autobiography by one who was at the heart of things. Good – cover marked – remains of Boots Library label £12
- (HAMMOND) Mrs John Hays Hammond A Woman’s Part in a Revolution Longmans, Green 1987  The ‘Revolution’ was the Boer War – her husband was imprisoned by the Boers. Good £30
- (HARRISON) Amy Greener A Lover of Books: the life and literary papers of Lucy Harrison J.M. Dent 1916  Lucy Harrison (a niece of Mary Howitt) studied at Bedford College, then taught for 20 years at a school in Gower St (Charlotte Mew was a pupil at the school and v. attached to Miss Harrison) and then became headmistress of the Mount School, York. Good – pasted onto the free front end paper is a presentation slip from the editor, Amy Greener, to Mary Cotterell £18
- HAYS, Frances Women of the Day: a biographical dictionary of notable contemporaries J.B. Lipincott (Philadelphia) 1885  A superb biographical source on interesting women. Good in original binding – with library shelf mark in ink on spine- scarce £75
- (HOOKS) Bell Hooks Wounds of Passion: a writing life Women’s Press 1998  A memoir describing her struggle to become a writer. Soft covers – fine £4
- (HOWARD) Elizabeth Jane Howard Slipstream: a memoir Macmillan 2002  Fine in d/w £8
- (HOWE) Valarie Ziegler Diva Julia: the public romance and private agony of Julia Ward Howe Trinity Press International 2003  Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £10
- (HUNT) Violet Hunt The Flurried Years Hurst & Blackett   Autobiography of Violet Hunt, novelist and literary hostess, lover of Ford Madox Hueffer (Ford), among others. Good – ex-Boots library £20
- (JACQUIER) Sir Francis Meynell introduces The Diary of Ivy Jacquier 1907-1926 Gollancz 1960  Diary of an Ango-French girl/woman – beginning with her time at a school in Eastbourne. Later she studied art in Dresden, lived in pre-1st World War Paris, did voluntary work in a Lyons hospital, and after the war married a Scot and lives in the Lake District and London. A diary to relish. Very good in d/w £10
- (JAMESON) Clara Thomas Love and Work Enough: the life of Anna Jameson Macdonald 1967  Good £10
- (JAMESON) G.H. Needler (ed) Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie von Goethe OUP 1939  Very good internally – cover marked £20
- (JAMESON) Judith Johnston Anna Jameson: Victorian, feminist, woman of letters Scolar Press 1997  An examination of Jameson’s non-fiction writing in the context of her life. Mint in mint d/w £20
- (JAMESON) Storm Jameson Journey from the North: autobiography of Storm Jameson Virago 1984  Soft covers – good – 2 volumes complete £12
- (JEBB) Alice Salomon Eglantyne Jebb Union Internationale de Secours Aux Enfants 1936  Short study in French. Paper covers – 53pp – very good £5
- KELSALL, Helen Berridge House Who’s Who, 1893-1957 privately published   A list of all the pupils and staff of the National Society’s Training College for Domestic Subjects – with a short history of the college. Paper covers – good £12
- (KNIGHT) Roger Fulford (ed) The Autobiography of Miss Knight: lady companion to Princess Charlotte William Kimber 1960  Born in 1757, Ellis Cornelia Knight was appointed to the household of Queen Charlotte in 1805. Very good in torn dustwrapper £12
- LANE, Maggie Literary Daughters Robert Hale 1989  Studies of Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Beatrix Potter and Virginia Woolf – and their fathers. Very good in d/w £15
- (LAWRENCE) Rosie Jackson Frieda Lawrence Pandora 1994  Includes ‘Not I, But the Wind and other autobiographical writings’. Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w £8
- (LEIGH) Michael and Melissa Bakewell Augusta Leigh: Byron’s half-sister – a biography Chatto & Windus 2000  Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w £8
- (LIDDELL) Simon Winchester The Alice Behind Wonderland OUP 2011  ‘Using Charles Dodgson’s published writings, private diaries, and of course his photographic portraits, Winchester gently exposes the development of Lewis Carroll and the making of his Alice.’ Mint in d/w £6
- (MACAULAY) Jane Emery Rose Macaulay: a writer’s life John Murray 1991  Soft covers – fine £6
- MARTINDALE, Hilda Some Victorian Portraits and Others Allen & Unwin 1948  Biographical essays of members of her circle – including Adelaide Anderson, factory inspector. Very good in d/w £18
- (MARTYN) Christopher Hodgson (compiler) Carrie: Lincoln’s Lost Heroine privately published 2010  A biographical anthology of works relating to Caroline Eliza Derecourt Martyn, socialist. Soft covers – fine £10
- MAVINGA, Isha McKenzie And PERKINS, Thelma In Search of Mr McKenzie: two sisters’ quest for an unknown father Women’s Press 1991  An intriguing search to find their black father – their mother was white and Jewish. Soft covers – good £5
- (MAYNARD) Catherine B. Firth Constance Louisa Maynard: mistress of Westfield College Allen & Unwin 1949  Very good – scarce £15
- (MONTGOMERY) Catherine Andronik Kindred Spirit: a biography of L.M. Montgomery, creator of Anne of Green Gables Athenaeum 1993  Very good- in fine d/w £8
- (MONTGOMERY) Mary Rubio and Elizbeth Waterston (eds) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: vol 1 1889-1910 OUP 1985  Fine in very good d/w -424pp – heavy £15
- (MOODIE/TRAILL) Charlotte Gray Sisters in the Wilderness: Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, pioneers of the Canadian backwoods Duckworth 2001  Hardcover – fine in fine d/w £12
- (MORGAN) Mary Campbell Lady Morgan: the life and times of Sydney Owenson Pandora 1988  Soft covers – fine £10
- (MORGAN) Sydney Lady Morgan Passage From My Autobiography Richard Bentley 1859  ‘The following pages are the simple records of a transition existence, socially enjoyed, and pelasantly and profitably occupied, during a journey of a few months from Ireland to Italy.’ Good – in original decorative mauve cloth £18
- NEWNHAM COLLEGE REGISTER 1871-1950 privately printed  packed with biographical information on students and staff. Soft covers – 2 vols – good – although backing on vol 1 is coming unstuck and outermost cover of vol II is missing- internally very good – scarce £40
- (NICE) Miranda Seymour The Bugatti Queen: in search of a motor-racing legend Simon & Schuster 2004  Romantic life of Helle Nice, who set land-speed records for Bugatti in the 1930s. Fine in d/w £8
- (NIGHTINGALE) Lynn McDonald (ed) Florence Nightingale’s European Travels Wilfrid Laurier Press 2004  Her correspondence, and a few short published articles, from her youthful European travels. She is an excellent observer and reporter. Fine in d/w – 802pp £45
- (NOURSE) Mary Alice Keekin Burke Elizabeth Nourse, 1859-1938: a salon career National Museum of American Art 1983  A study of the artist. Soft covers – large format – many illustrations – very good £15
- (OSBORN) Emily Osborn (ed) Political and Social Letters of a Lady of the Eighteenth Century: 1721-1771 Griffith Farren, Okeden and Welsh (London) 1890  Living in London and Chicksands (Bedfordshire), she managed her son’s involved estate. Her letters reveal to us 18th-century life – political, social and domestic. Very good internally -paper on spine and corners a little rubbed – gift inscription, 1895, to ‘Lady Strathmore’ – the present Queen’s great-grandmither £45
- PARRY, Melanie (ed) Chambers Biographical Dictionary of Women Chambers 1996  Soft covers – fine – 741pp – heavy £10
- (PASTON) Helen Castor Blood and Roses Faber 2004  A family biography tracing the Pastons’ story across three generations. Mint in mint d/w £8
- (PHILIPS) Philip Webster Souers The Matchless Orinda Harvard University Press 1931  An account of the life of Mrs Katherine Philips, the first woman in England to gain the reputation of a poetess.Good – ex university library £28
- (PILKINGTON) Norma Clarke Queen of the Wits: a life of Laetitia Pilkington Faber 2008  Biography of a woman of the 18th century – poetess, fallen woman and wit. Mint in d/w £17
- (PLATH/HUGHES) Diane Middlebrook Her Husband: Hughes and Plath: a marriage Little,Brown 2004  Fine in fine d/w £8
- (PORTER) Pamily Petro The Slow Breath of Stone: a Romanesque love story Fourth Estate 2005  Extremely interesting biography of Kingsley and Lucy Porter who in the 1920s documented the Romanesque abbeys of south-west France. Using these photographs and Lucy’s journal the author retraces their steps and their lives. Fine in d/w £8
- (PUREFOY) G. Eland (ed) Purefoy Letters 1735-1753 Sidgwick & Jackson 1931  The letters of Elizabeth Purefoy (1672-1765), whose husband died in 1704, and her son, Henry Purefoy. Elizabeth Purefoy was, as her epitaph recorded, ‘a woman of excellent understanding, prudent and frugal’ and her letters are full of domestic detail. Very good – two volumes £40
- (RHYS) Francis Wyndham And Diana Melly (eds) Jean Rhys Letters 1931-1966 Deutsch 1984  Very good in d/w £12
- (RICHARDSON) Gloria G. Fromm (ed) Windows on Modernism: selected letters of Dorothy Richardson University of Georgia Press 1995  Over 700pp – mint in d/w £55
- (RIDING) Deborah Baker In Extremis; the life of Laura Riding Hamish Hamilton 1993  Fine in very good d/w £7
- (RUSKIN) Mary Lutyens (ed) Young Mrs Ruskin in Venice: the picture of society and life with John Ruskin 1849-1852 Vanguard Press (NY) 1965  Very good in d/w £12
- (SARTON) May Sarton At Eighty-Two: a journal Women’s Press 1996  The last of her celebrated journals. Paper covers – mint £7
- (SARTON) May Sarton (ed. Susan Sherman) Selected Letters, 1916-1954 Women’s Press 1997  Paper covers – fine £3
- (SEEBOHM) Victoria Glendinning A Suppressed Cry: life and death of a Quaker daughter Routledge 1969  The short, sad life of Winnie Seebohm, smothered by her loving family. She enjoyed a month at Newnham in 1885, before returning home and dying. Good in d/w – though ex-library £4
- SICHERMAN, Barbara et al (eds) Notable American Women: The Modern Period Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 1980  Soft covers – 773pp – heavy – very good £12
- (SIMPSON) Morrice McCrae Simpson: the turbulent life of a medical pioneer Birlinn 2011  The discoverer of ‘the blessed chloroform’ and, as such, an important figure in ‘woman’s sphere’. Soft covers – mint £5
- (SLATE/SLAWSON) Tieri Thompson (ed) Dear Girl: the diaries and letters of two working women 1897-1917 The Women’s Press 1987  Letters and diaries of two women whose friendship was played out against the background of the suffrage movement. Paper covers – very good
- (SMITH) David Thomson With Moyra McGusty (eds) The Irish Journals of Elizabeth Smith 1840-1850 Clarendon Press 1980  A selection from the journals of Elizabeth Smith of Baltiboys, C. Wicklow, giving a graphic account of the Irish famine of the 1840s. Fine in d/w £10
- (SOYER) Ruth Cowen Relish: the extraordinary life of Alexis Soyer, Victorian celebrity chef Weidenfeld 2006  Chef and kitchen designer to the Reform Club and reformer of army catering. Mint in d/w £8
- (ST TERESA OF AVILA) St Teresa of Avila by Herself Penguin Classics 1957 (r/p)  Soft covers – fine £6
- STARK, Freya The Coast of Incense: autobiography 1933-1939 John Murray 1953  Covers her travels in Egypt, the Middle East and South Arabia. Good in chipped d/w £6
- (STEAD) Chris Williams Christina Stead: a life of letters Virago 1989  Soft covers – fine £8
- (STOREY) Joyce Storey Our Joyce Broadsides 1987  Life in pre-Second World War Bristol. Soft covers – very good £4
- (STOREY) STOREY, Joyce Joyce’s War 1939-1945 Virago 1992 (r/p)  Soft covers -very good £4
- (STOWE) Joan Hedrick Harriet Beecher Stowe OUP 1994  Soft covers – fine £9
- (STUART) Hon. James A. Home (ed) Letters of Lady Louisa Stuart to Miss Louisa Clinton David Douglas (Edinburgh) 1901 & 1903  Two volumes – complete set. The first volume covers the period 1817 to 1825 and the second volume (called ‘Second Series’) that from1826 to 1834. Society observed. Very good – two volumes together £38
- (SWAN) Mildred Robertson Nicoll The Letters of Annie S. Swan Hodder & Stoughton 1946 (r/p)  Good reading copy. £10
- (TENNYSON) James O. Hoge Lady Tennyson’s Journal University Press of Virginia 1981  Fine in d/w £18
- (TREFUSIS) Philippe Jullian and John Phillips Violet Trefusis: life and letters Hamish Hamilton 1976  Fine in fine d/w £8
- (TREFUSIS) Philippe Jullian And PHILLIPS, John Violet Trefusis: a biography including correspondence with Vita Sackville-West Methuen 1986  Soft covers – good £7
- (TROUBRIDGE) Jaqueline Hope-Nicholson (ed) Life Amongst the Troubridges: journals of a young Victorian 1873-1884 by Laura Troubridge John Murray 1966  Very good in rubbed d/w £10
- (TUCKER) Agnes Giberne A Lady of England: the life and letters of Charlotte Maria Tucker Hodder & Stoughton 1895  The standard biography of a popular children’s and religious writer – who spent the later years of her life as a missionary in India. Good – though ex-university library £28
- (TWINING) Louisa Twining Recollections of My Life and Work Edward Arnold 1893  She was an early ‘social worker’ – involved with workhouse visiting, promoting the idea of poor law inspectors and was herself a poor law guardian. Very good – scarce £68
- (VICTORIA) Agatha Ramm (ed) Beloved and Darling Child: last letters between Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter 1886-1901 Alan Sutton 1990  Mint in d/w £10
- (VICTORIA) Dorothy Marshall The Life and Times of Victoria Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1992 (r/p)  Lavishly illustrated. Mint in d/w £10
- WALKER, Alice The Same River: honoring the difficult Women’s Press 1996  ‘A meditation on life, spirit, art, and the making of the film\ ‘The Color Purple ‘ ten years later. Fine in d/w £6
- (WARD) John Sutherland Mrs Humphry Ward: eminent Victorian, pre-eminent Edwardian OUP 1990  Fine in very good d/w £8
- (WARWICK) Charlotte Fell-Smith Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick (1625-1678), her family and friends Longmans, Green 1901  Very good £45
- (WEAVER) Jane Lidderdale And Mary Nicholson Dear Miss Weaver: Harriet Shaw Weaver 1876-1961 Faber 1970  The woman behind The Egoist and patron of James Joyce. Very good in d/w £20
- (WEETON) Edward Hall (ed) Miss Weeton journal of a governess OUP, 1936 and 1939  In two volumes – covering the years 1807-11 and 1811-25 – shows what life was like for an unprotected female (albeit one of great strength of character) in the North of England (Huddersfield, Wigan, Liverpool), Wales and London. Very good £60
- (WHARTON) R.W.B. Lewis And Nancy Lewis The Letters of Edith Wharton Simon & Schuster 1988  Fine in fine d/w – 654pp £12
- (WOLLSTONECRAFT) JOHNSON, Claudia (ed) The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft CUP 2002  Soft covers – mint £10
- (WOOLF) Joanne Trautmann Banks (ed) Virginia Woolf: Congenial Spirits: selected letters Pimlico 2003  Soft covers – mint £12
- (WOOLF) Mitchell Leaska Granite and Rainbow; the hidden life of Virginia Woolf Picador 2000  Soft covers – fine £6
- (WOOLF) Virginia Woolf A Writer’s Diary Hogarth Press, 6th imp 1972  Fine in d/w (previous owner’s name neatly written on free front endpaper) £12
- WORTHEN, John The Gang: Coleridge, the Hutchinsons and the Wordsworths in 1802 Yale University Press 2001  Draws on letters and diaries to illuminate the dynamics of the group at a time of intense creativity. Fine in fine d/w £8
- VICTORIA LEAGUE – BATH BRANCH – AWARD OF MERIT  The Victoria League was founded by women in 1901 to promote greater understanding between all parts of the British Empire – concentrating on hospitality and education. This certificate – Award of Merit – was awarded to Francis A. Bodger – for ‘Australia’, presumably an essay. Francis Ainsworth Bodger was born in 1877, in 1911 was a sergeant in the Royal Artillery, and died in Bath in 1940. The certificate gives the name of the Branch President as Leila Cubitt, and she died in Bath in 1951. The decorative certificate has at its centre a black & white illustration by Robert Anning Bell ‘What is the Flag of England Winds of the World Declare’. Good £12
- ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT MISTRESSES Education Policy; with special reference to Secondary Education no date (early 20th c)  4-pp leaflet – good – ex-Board of Education library £5
- ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT MISTRESSES Education Policy (with special reference to Secondary Education) AAM no date (1920s?)  4-pp leaflet. Good – ex-Board of Education library £2
- ASSOCIATION OF ASSISTANT MISTRESSES IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS The Teaching of English 1907  A paper given by Miss C.L. Thomson at the 1907 Annual Meeting of the Association. 16-pp pamphlet – good – ex-Board of Education library £8
- ASSOCIATION OF HEAD MISTRESSES Memorandum Forwarded to the President of the Board of Education, 5 Jan 1907  8-pp pamphlet dealing with the issue of the length of the school day and whether afternoon classes should be compulsory or optional. Good – ex-Board of Education libary £5 SOLD
- (AUSTEN) Frederick Bussby Jane Austen in Winchester Friends of Winchester Cathedral  Essay delineating Jane Austen’s links to Winchester. Soft covers – pamphlet – fine £8
- AUTOGRAPHS – THE GUILDHOUSE  The Guildhouse was an ecumenical place of worship and cultural centre founded in 1921 by Maude Royden. On 4 sheets of paper are fixed 25 cut-out signatures, including those of Maude Royden, Hudson Shaw, Daisy Dobson (Maude Royden’s secretary), Zoe Procter (former WSPU activist), and Katherine Courtney (of the NUWSS). Together £45
- BINFIELD, Clyde Belmont’s Portias: Victorian nonconformists and middle-class education for girls Dr Williams’ Trust 1981  The 35th Friends of Dr Williams’s Library Lecture. Paper covers – 35pp – good – scarce £18
- BOARD OF EDUCATION List of Elementary Schools and Training Colleges under the Administration of the Board 1902-1903 HMSO 1903  The lists include the number of pupils at each school, the average attendance and the amount the school received in an annual grant. This is bound with (1) ‘Lists of Secondary Schools, Science and Art Schools and Classes, and Evening Schools under the Administration of the Board 1902-1903’. The lists give details of the number of pupils attending day and night classes in both Science and in Art and the total ammount allocated in grants to each school.
(2) ‘Evening Schools Aided by Parliamentary Grants’, giving the number of pupils receiving grants. Packed with information on schools and classes in England and Wales. Leather bound, 193pp – good – ex-Board of Education Library £28
- CHARITY ORGANISATION REVIEW Vol X (New Series) July To Dec 1901 Longmans, Green 1902  half-yearly bound volume of the COS’s own magazine. Very good £28
- CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY D.R. Sharpe Centralised Registration of Assistance COS 1911  Paper read on 31 May 1911 at the Annual National Conference of Charity Organisation Societies. Paper covers – 14pp pamphlet – good – unusual £18
- CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY H. Holman A Restatement of the First Principles of Charity Organisation Work COS 1912  Paper read on 21 May 1912 at the 21st Annual National Conference of Charity Organisation Societies, Manchester. Paper covers – 24pp – good – unusual £25
- CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY J.W. Pennyman The Cost of Good Work COS 1895  A Paper read at the Cheltenham Charity Organisation Conference. ‘How shall we estimate the cost of good work? To do this we shall have to realise what is meant by good work, and to consider the special needs of our locality.’ A discussion of the financial costs of local charity. COS Occasional Paper No 57. 6-pp – unusual £18
- CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY Miss Pike Friendly Visiting and Personal Service COS 1911  Paper read on 1 June 1911 at the Annual National Conference of Charity Organisation Societies. Paper covers – 11pp – good – a little foxing – unusual £20
- CORNHILL MAGAZINE, May 1912 Smith, Elder 1912  Includes an article by Ella Sykes, ‘At a women’s hostel in Canada’. Ella Sykes was a member of the Colonial Intelligence League for Educated Women and visited Canada, in the guise of a ‘home help’, on the League’s behalf to spy out the land. Soft covers – very good £8
- DINNER AND PRESENTATION TO MISS ALISON NEILANS  4-pp leaflet, reprinted from ‘The Shield’, Dec 1938, describing the ‘Silver Jubilee dinner held at St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster, to celebrate Miss Neilans’ 25 years work with the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene’. Good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £8
- ELIZA COOK’S JOURNAL VOLS 1-3  Runs from issue 1, 5 May 1849 to issue 156, 24 April 1852. Very good condition – half leather and marbled boards. Each vol £38
- FEDERATION OF SOCIETIES OF TEACHERS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION  Two of the Federation’s annual reports. First Annual Report (Oct 1935-Sept 1936), 6pp; Fourth Annual Report (October 1938-Dec 1939), 12pp. Both soft covers, both very good. Together £12
- GIRLS’ OWN ANNUAL, Oct 1891- Sept 1892  Very good internally – with Extra Christmas Number 1891 and Extra Summer Number 1892 bound in- in publisher’s binding – spine leather rubbed and torn. Includes the colour reproduction of a painting by Kate Greenaway. Heavy £30
- GIRLS OWN ANNUAL, Oct 1895- Sept 1896  Includes an article on the Bryant & May match girls; ‘A young servant’s outfit, and what to buy for it’. Very good – in decorative binding £35
- GIRLS’ OWN ANNUAL, Oct 1896-Sept 1897  Very good internally – in slightly worn publisher’s binding. Includes a series of articles on ‘What are the provincial county councils doing for girls?’ and all the usual wonderful mix – plus the Extra Christmas Number and an extra Diamond Jubilee Number. Heavy £20
- GRUBBE, JULIA HARRIET  A collection of photograph and over 20 letters relating to Julia Harriet Grubbe (1845-1907), the daughter of John Eustace Grubbe, magistrate, parliamentary agent and sometime mayor of Southwold. A very large page carries 11 photographs of Julia, covering the whole of her life. In the 1880s/90s, from which period most of the letters (all written to her) date, she lived with her parents and four unmarried siblings in Park Lane, Southwold. A study of the letters gives an insight into the concerns of a woman of her class and time. In very good condition £45
- HARRIS, E.M. Married Women in Industry Institute of Personnel Management 1954  Paper covers – 30pp – good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library £3 SOLD
- HENRY, S.A, Health of the Factory Worker in Wartime  two lectures, by HM medical inspector of factories, reprinted from ‘The Lancet’, 11 and 18 Dec 1943. Paper covers – presentation copy from the author £5 SOLD
- HMSO Ministry of Health, Survey of Relief to Widows and Children (1919) 1920  Missing its outer wrappers otherwise very good – 186pp £12
- HMSO A Study of the Factors which have operated in the past and those which are operating now to determine the distribution of women in industry 1930  Paper covers – very good – 33pp £18
- HMSO Third Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure: Health and Welfare of Women in War Factories HMSO 1942  24-pp – good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. £8 SOLD
- HUTCHINS, B.L. Women’s Industrial Career Sheratt & Hughes Oct 1909  Reprinted from The Sociological Review. Paper covers – good £9
- LEWISHAM WOMEN’S INSTITUTE  Programme of classes for 1957-58 – 12pp £4
- McMILLAN, Margaret The Future of Our Young People Co-operative Union 1911  Paper covers – 12pp – good – ex-Board of Education library £12
- MATHIEU, Nicole-Claude Ignored by Some, Denied by Others: the social sex category in sociology Women’s Research and Resources Centre Publications 1977  Paper covers – very good £4
- MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Moving from the Slums HMSO 1956  Seventh Report of the Housing Management Sub-committee of the Central Housing Advisory Committee. Paper covers – good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. £4
- MISSION HOME FOR ENGLISH WOMEN IN PARIS  A printed report, issued in 1880, into the running of the Ada Leigh Home in Paris. There had been corscurating complaints about its management and the report is the result of an investigation by ‘Ed. Hutchinson of Sumner Place, South Kensington’. He exonerated Miss Leigh from any impropriety and in the course of his report gives an interesting survey of the work of the Home, which provided shelter in Paris for women and children with links to Britain. Has been folded, previously bound in volume, spine loose, small tear top page. 6 foolscap pages – 12 sides £45
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GIRLS’ CLUBS Clubs and Club Making University of London Press 1943  A history – and then 13 chapters on how to run a club. Soft covers – 104pp – good – ex-Board of Education library £25
- NATIONAL UNION OF WOMEN’S TEACHERS How Equal Pay would Help Industry and Decrease Unemployment 1930s?  Single page leaflet – fine £8
- NORWEGIAN JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL POLICY The Status of Women in Norway Today 1953  Paper covers -67 pp – with photographs – with drawn from the Women’s Library £3
- PAUPER HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS Return of ‘all district and separate pauper hospitals (including asylums of the Metropolitan Asylum District), also of district and separate pauper schools, built during the past ten years; giving the name of hospital or school; names of unions contribution; class of inmates; extent of area; cost of site; cost of building; number of inmates; exclusive of officers; cost per head on number to be accommodated; and number of inmates on 1 May 1885 HMSO 1885  6 foolscap pages. Very good – disbound £20
- REFORMATORIES AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS (COMMITTALS) Returns showing the comparative number of committals of boys and girls to reformatories and industrial schools April 1872  ‘Shows comparative number of committals of boys and girls to reformatories and industrial schools in 1870, with the number of cases in which the parents have been charged with such payment towards their children’s cost at such schools as may be considered equal to the expense they are saved by so throwing their children on public support, together with a comparative statement of the number of cases in which such charge has been adjudged, with that of the charges actually recovered and regularly paid.’ Raw facts. 4 foolscap pp – disbound £28
- REPORT OF A DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE ON THE PREVALENCE OF VENEREAL DISEASE AMONG THE BRITISH TROOPS IN INDIA HMSO 1897  33-pp foolscap Report – together with – ‘A Rough Record 1858-1935 on the work of the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene, in connection with the British Army in India’ – 8-pp foolscap report. In good condition – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. Together £12
- REPORT OF THE MABYS ASSOCIATION FOR THE CARE OF YOUNG GIRLS, 1922 1923  Founded by Mrs Nassau Senior in 1874 ‘to befriend and protect the girls brought up in the Guardians’ Schools, and those of other Public Authorities in the Metropolitan area. The Association tries to ensure for these girls the same chances in life and the same status as those girls who have been brought up in their own homes’. This Annual Report for 1922 gives full details of the Mabys work – the homes it ran – and its workers and supporters. Good – 34pp – ex-Board of Education library £15
- REVIEW OF REVIEWS  edited by W.T. Stead. the first volume, January-June 1890. As Stead spotted, here was a gap in the market, enabling the interested observer to keep a finger on the pulse of the world. With v useful indexes to articles in current periodicals. Very good £25
- RYLE, Effie Women’s Life in the Nineteenth Century as seen in English fiction National Adult School Union, no date [c. 1930?]  16-pp booklet giving brief background information about women’s lives in the 19th century, a ‘Suggested Plan for Study by a Group’ and notes for using\i Shirley\i0 , \i Mary Barton\i0 ,\i The Old Wives’ Tale\i0 and\i Kipps\i0 to explore the issues raised. Soft covers – good £12
- SENIOR, Mrs Nassau Pauper Schools HMSO 1875  ‘Copy ”of a Letter addressed to the President of the Local Government Board by Mrs Nassau Senior, lately an Inspector of the Board, being a reply to the observation of Mr Tufnell, also a former inspector upon her report on pauper schools’. This was a follow-up to Mrs Senior’s 1874 report.
24pp – large format – disbound. £28
- SMALL COLLECTION DOCUMENTING THE ACADEMIC PROGRESS OF MURIEL LONG AT THE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, WEST KIRBY 1920-1926  The tenor of Muriel’s school reports is ‘very fair’ – and we all know what that means. But she was clearly much younger than the average age of the class and does quite well in maths and science. Generally her conduct is ‘very good’ but at least one report notes ‘rather noisy in the class room’.Included in the collection are a number of programmes for Speech Day and Annual Sports, dating from the 1920s. In 1926 Muriel went on to Underwood Commercial College in Liverpool to learn shorthand and typing (1st in the class in ‘Office Routine’). I think Muriel married in 1940 and died in 2006 – leaving bequests to Venice in Peril and the Royal Overseas League – so it doesn’t look as though being graded only ‘very fair’ at Scripture, Ancient History etc had prevented her taking an interest. An eclectic collection of material £45 SOLD
- SWANWICK, H.M. Women and War Union of Democratic Control [no date -1915]  She was one of the founding members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915 and resigned from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies after it refused to send delegates to the International Women’s Congress at The Hague. Paper covers – good internally – front cover present but detached. £48
- TEACHERS’ GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND Collection of Annual Reports  Reports for 1896-1897; 1897; 1899; 1900; 1901-1902; 1904-1905; 1905-1906; 1906; 1907-1908; 1908; 1909-10; 1910; 1911-12. The Guild represented both male and female teachers. With much detail of local branches. Each Report c 90pp, in original paper covers (the occasional cover present, but detached) – all in good condition. Together – 13 items £80
- TEACHERS’ GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND List of Members Alphabetically Arranged 1913  Names and addresses – very useful. Women teachers appear to be in the majority. Soft covers – good – ex-Board of Education Library £15
- THE ACLAND CHRONICLE April 1903  The second number of the ‘Acland Chronicle’ recording the work of the Acland Club for boys and girls that was associated with the Women’s University Settlement. Good in original wrppers – ex-Board of Education library £8
- THE ASSOCIATION FOR MORAL AND SOCIAL HYGIENE The Alison Neilans Memorial Lectures AMSH  3 of these annual lectures: 1) No 5 Mary Stocks, Josephine Butler and the Moral Standards of Today, 1961; 2) No 6 T.C.N. Gibbens, The Clients of Prostitutes, 1962 and 3) A Summary of the Tenth Alison Neilans Memorial Lecture given by Dr R.D. Catterall, 1967. Paper covers – in good condition, withdrawn from the Women’s Library. Together £10
- THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP Women’s Liberal Federation 1949  ‘Being a report of the Enquiry Committee on Women’s Position in the Community set up by the Executive Committee of the Women’s Liberal Federation at the request of the Chairman of the Liberal Party Organisation’. Paper covers – 40pp – very good £2
- THE LAUNDRY INDUSTRY EDUCATION BOARD Education, Training and Scholarships in the Laundry Industry Laundry Industry Education Board 1953 (revised)  A vanished world of work. Paper covers – 16pp – good – ex-Board of Education Library £8
- THE LEAGUE OF SERVICE Report, 1910-1911  ‘The League of Service exists to bring such influences to bear upon the physical conditions and the homes of the chidlren of the nation that each child may at least begin life with a fair chance of attaining full development.’ The Report details the League’s work – in London only – with centres at King’s Cross, Marylebone and Battersea, each with its own ‘Mothers’ Dining Room’. Paper covers – 20pp -very good – ex-Board of Education library £15
- THE SPECTATOR AUGUST 6 1836  Includes a report of a wife offered for sale at ‘the new Islington cattle market’. She fetched 26s. £20
- THE WOMEN’S BRANCH FEDERATION Fifth Annual Report, 1912-13  ‘Affiliated to the Social Institutes’ Union’ – ‘unites existing Clubs and Social Institutes for women and girls of the industrial community by promoting amongst them mutual interest and friendly intercourse.’ Good – in original wrappers – 16pp – 2 photos -ex-Board of Education lbirary £12
- THE WOMEN’S BRANCH FEDERATION Sixth Annual Report, 1913-14  ‘We can only conclude by saying that we have endeavoured to raise the standard of London Working Girls by encouraging them to take pleasure in interesting study, and employ their leisure hours in healthy and wholesome recreation.’ With details of all the affiliated Clubs. Paper covers -with photographs – 16pp – good – ex-Board of Education library £14
- THE WOMEN’S LEAGUE OF SERVICE Report, 1911-1912  The League of Service was now renamed – and, in addition to those detailed in the 1910-11 Report, now had Centres in Hammersmith, Croydon and Bristol. Paper covers – 34pp – very good – ex-Board of Education library £15
- TOULMIN, Camilla A Story of the Factories (c 1842)  ‘It was on a fine summer morning in the year 1841 that three young persons, the children of an agricultural labourer, presented themselves at a certain railway station, and, after obtaining third-class tickets, might have been seen waiting for the arrival of the train…’ They had left their native Dorsetshire to travel to Manchester.. Short story – a tract – 32pp – recently bound in card covers – very good £18
- WARWICK, The Countess Of Unemployment: its causes and consequences Twentieth Century Press, no date (c 1906)  Pamphlet – 16pp – first published as two articles in the ‘Daily Mail’ in Feb 1906. Good internally. The rather grubby pink paper covers – with a v glamourous photograph of the author – are present – heavily chipped – but detached. Scarce £45
- WIGHTMAN, Clare Women At Work and In Society Modern Records Centre, Warwick University, 2nd ed 1991  Gives sources for the subject in the Warwick Modern Records Centre. Paper covers – fine £4
- WILKINS, Mrs Roland The Training and Employment of Education Women in Horticulture and Agriculture Women’s Farm and Garden Association 1927  Soft covers – 52pp – good – ex-Board of Education Library £20
- WOMAN AT HOME (Annie S. Swan’s Magazine) Hodder & Stoughton 1894  Includes chapters from Annie Swan’s ‘Elizabeth Glen, M.B.; the experiences of a lady doctor’, as well as the usual wide range of interviews, articles -including fashion, cookery and house furnishing, and stories. Good – hundreds of pages! £18
- WOMAN’S WEEKLY  A run of the magazine from the very first issue – 4 November 1911 – to 6 April 1912 plus the issue for 14 September 1912. Priced at 1 penny, the magazine is packed with advice about housekeeping, fashion – for women and children, childcare, and with serials by the likes of Annie S. Swan. 20 issues – all in very good condition (except that for 14 Sept 1912 which is good only). The No 1 issue is in particularly pristine condition.. Unusual to find such an early run of a magazine that is still with us. £80
- WOMAN’S WORK IN PROMOTING THE CAUSE OF HYGIENE  8-pp pamphlet – perhaps missing outer paper covers – although it’s difficult to tell if ones were issued. No author or society named – published by Jarrolds, Norwich. Probably published c 1880s. The final section advocates the possibility of employing women as ‘Factory Inspectresses, where women girls, and children are employed;. £8
- WOMEN & LITERATURE, VOL 3, NO 2 Fall 1975  This issue contains the 1974 Bibliography of Women in British and American Literature, 1660-1900. Soft covers – very good £6
- WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT FEDERATION Memorandum on Openings and Trainings for Women WEF 1936  Opportunities for women – from Accountancy to Youth Leadership. Paper covers – good -20pp £15
- WOMEN’S INDUSTRIAL COUNCIL Nineteenth Annual Report 1912-13  Includes a long, v interesting and wide-ranging list of lectures given – as well as details of the work undertaken by the council – including the trades into which it had undertaken investigations. Paper covers – very good – ex-Board of Education library £15
- BEDFORD COLLEGE The Common Room  Real photographic card – I can see a print of G. F.Watts’ ‘Hope’ among the pictures – and is that a portrait of Emily Penrose over the fireplace? I’m not sure. Very good – printed in Berlin so probably dates from pre-1914 – unposted £10
- CLARK’S COLLEGE, CIVIL SERVICE Preparing for the Lady Clerk’s G.P.O. Exam  Photographic postcard of the young women preparing for this exam which, if they passed, offered a chance of bettering themselves. Very good – unposted £12
- GEORGE LANSBURY, MP, LCC  real photographic postcard published by the Church Socialist League, London branch, pre – First World War. Fine – unposted £5 SOLD
- MERCHANT TAYLORS’ SCHOOL FOR GIRLS  Real photographic postcard of the exterior of the Crosby, Liverpool, girls’ school. The ink message on the back includes ‘The view is of Aunty Nina’s school..’ and continues onto the front of the card on white space to the side of the photograph. Posted in, I think, 1933. Good £10
- THE CITY WOMAN’S CLUB: 8 Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, London EC4  postcard – linedrawing – depicting an exterior view of this club and two of its elegant young members. The club was opened c 1920 – this card probably dates from c 1930. Unposted -the card is a little creased at the top right – an unusual item £15
- BAILLIE, Joanna A Series of Plays in which it is attempted to delineate the stronger passions of the mind Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, a new edition 1821  A handsome set – newly rebound in cloth £60
- BEHN, Aphra Ten Pleasures of Marriage and the second part of The Confession of the New Married Couple printed for the Navarre Society 1950  With an introduction by John Harvey. Good – corners a little bumped £10
- HALL, Marguerite Radclyffe- The Forgotten Island Chapman & Hall 1915  Poems. Very good – scarce £50 SOLD
- HASTINGS, Lady Flora Poems William Blackwood 1841  The poems of poor Lady Flora were edited for publication by her sister. Lady Flora, a lady in waiting at court in 1838, was suspected of being pregnant, though unmarried. In fact her body was swollen with illness – and she died. Everybody was then v. sorry. Pasted onto the free front endpaper is a black-bordered printed ‘Elegy on the Death of Lady Flora Hastings.’ Annotation in ink reveals that the copy had in 1882 belonged to Mr John Gladstone, 39 Gunter Grove, Redcliffe Gardens, London S.W.. Latterly the copy had been held in the City of Cardiff Reference Library – perhaps given to it by Mr Gladstone. It bears a ‘Withdrawn from Stock’ stamp as well as the library albel on the front pastedown. The copy, in its original decorative green cloth, is worn along spine and hinge to front board is tender – contents very good £25
- MATHESON, Annie Selected Poems Old and New Henry Frowde 1899  Very good £10
- PROCTER, Adelaide Anne Legends and Lyrics Bell & Daldy, 14th ed 1872  Poems by a leading member of the Langham-Place group. very good – leather, with gilt decorations and all edges gilt £15
- SCOTT, Sarah Millenium Hall Virago 1986  First published in 1762. Paper covers – very good £8
- SEWELL, Mrs Poems and Ballads Jarrold no date (1880s?)  With a memoir of the author by Miss E.B. Bayly. Good internally – covers marked – in 2 vols £8
- SHERWOOD, Mrs The Happy Family Houlston & Sons, new edition no date  A little tract – paper covers. Fine £5
- TAYLOR, Mary Miss Miles OUP 1990  Mary Taylor was the life-long friend of Charlotte Bronte. This edition with an introduction by Janet Horowitz Murray. Soft covers – very good £6
- TRAVERS, Graham [pseud of Margaret Todd] Mona MacLean: medical student William Blackwood, 14th ed 1899  Novel written by Sophia Jex-Blake’s friend and biographer. Cover marked – scarce £38
Women and the First World War
- CROFTON, Eileen The Women of Royaumont: a Scottish women’s hospital on the Western Front Tuckwell Press 1997  Excellent study. Soft covers – very good £12
- DOUGLAS-PENNANT, Violet Under the Search-Light: the record of a great scandal Allen & Unwin 1922  In June 1918 Violet Douglas-Pennant was appointed Commandant, Women’s Royal Air Force – only to be dismissed two months later ‘by direction of Lord Weir and Sir Auckland Geddes on the advice of Lady Rhondda, who acted without enquiry on secret information supplied to her, as well as to Mr Tyson Wilson MP, and Miss P. Strachey, by Mrs Beatty and others’. How intriguing. The book takes 463 pp to cover the ‘scandal’. Douglas-Pennant wrote it as her self-justificatory account of events “so that my name & honour may at last be vindicated.” Includes recollections of her ten weeks’ in charge, a Who’s Who of the personalities involved & full details of the House of Lords Inquiry into her dismissal. Good £85
- (HALL) Edith Hall Canary Girls & Stockpots WEA Luton Branch 1977  Memories of life in the First World War – and of the ’20s and ’30s. During the War Edith Hall’s mother was landlady to munition workers – ‘the Canaries’ (so called because the chemicals turned their skin yellow) at the Hayes factories.
Soft covers – signed by the author £10
- (SANDES) Flora Sandes An English Woman Sergeant in the Serbian Army Hodder & Stoughton 1916  Flora Sandes, a Red Cross volunteer, was the only woman to officially enlist as a soldier during the First World War, commissioned an officer in the Serbian army. Very good – a little knocked on the corners – and this original edition is quite scarce £55
- (THURSTAN) Violetta Thurstan Field Hospital and Flying Column: being the journal of an English nursing sister in Belgium and Russia G.P. Putnam’s 1915  Very good – very scarce £65
- WEBB, Beatrice Health of Working Girls: handbook for welfare supervisors and others Blackie & Son 1917  The author isn’t Beatrice Webb of LSE – but [Martha] Beatrice Webb (1863-1951) who in 1902 at the age of 38 was one of the first women to study medicine at the University of Birmingham. Of this book she wrote that ‘It is an attempt to do some little towards meeting the new conditons arising from the war, which hae not only brought many hundreds off thousands of women and girls into factories, in addition to all who were there before, but which have led to the coming of the Welfare Supervisor with her great opportunities for help.’ Hilda Martindale, ‘H.M. Senior Lady Inspector of Factories’, contributed a foreword. Good £20 SOLD
- ANNIE CATON IN WAAC UNIFORM  a studio portrait photograph taken in France – not a postcard. She is wearing uniform dress, with epaulettes, a white pointed collar, a self belt – with buttons down the front. Her right hand is in the dress’s capacious pocket – and she is wearing a felt hat. Very good £15
- BIBESCO, Princesse La Revue de Paris extrait du numero du 15 mai 1934: Lettres de Combattants Anglais Paris 1934  A lengthy review of ‘War Letters of Fallen Englishmen (Lettres de guerre d’hommes anglais qui sont tombes) compiled by Laurence Housman. She reviews it at length (24pp), quoting from letters of both the well known (Julian Grenfell, Edward Tennant) and the unknown. Very good – paper covers – offprint of the journal £4
- HMSO Munitions of War HMSO 1916  Order, dated June 26, 1916, of the Minister of Munitions. 4-pp leaflet – good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. £3
- HOBHOUSE, Mrs Henry ‘I Appeal Unto Caesar’: the case of the concientious objector Allen & Unwin, 2nd ed 1917  Polemic by Margaret Hobhouse (sister of Beatrice Webb), with introduction by Prof Gilbert Murray. This copy has ownership inscription of Elizabeth Robins (21 September ’17) and laid in is a cyclostyled letter from Mrs Hobhouse – signed by her – which begins ‘I send you a little book on the difficult problem of the Conscientious Objector, which I hope you will read and will pass on to others…’ Soft covers – 86pp – very good £75
- SCOTTISH WOMEN’S FIRST AID CORPS  natural-coloured linen canvas satchel with the initials ‘S.W.F.A.C.’ [Scottish Women’s First Aid Corps] machine-embroidered in red on the front.The satchel hangs from a long red grosgrain ribbon strap which has a buckle for altering its length. The bag still contains an Esmarch’s Triangular Bandage – printed with images of how to apply, in a variety of ways, the bandage to wounded men, together with two packs labelled ‘Scottish Women’s First Aid Corps First Field Dressing’, supplied by J. Gordon Nicholson, Pharmaceutical Chemist, 15 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, and two small safety pins on a piece of card, presumably to be used for fixing the bandages. Luckily this SWFAC member was required to put the bandages to the test. The SWFAC had been formed in 1909 by Mary E. Macmillan and came into its own in the First World War, appealing to middle and upper-middle class women who wanted to ‘do their bit’. The SWFAC ran classes in First Aid and sick nursing and some of its recruits then went out to nurse in Italy and Serbia. Very good – an unusual survival £120
- SCOTTISH WOMEN’S HOSPITALS FUND  paper charity pin flag – double-sided – showing the Scottish thistle surmounted by the legend ‘Scottish Women’s hospitals for Foreign Service’ and underneath ‘NUWSS’. In good condition £15
- SCOTTISH WOMEN’S HOSPITALS FUND  charity lapel-pin paper flag showing the lion rampant and the legend ‘Scottish Women’s Hospitals Fund’ printed in red – double sided. In good condition £15
- Y.W.C.A. WAR WORK  paper charity flag, with lapel pin – showing the legend ‘Y.W.C.A. War Work’ one side and on the other ‘Help Those Who Are Helping You’ below an image of women munition workers. In good condition £12 SOLD
- MACAULAY, Rose Three Days Constable & Co 1919  Poems. Already an established novelist, during the First World War Rose Macaulay worked as a VAD nurse and a land girl and in early 1917 joined the War Office. Good – a little chipped on spine – in wrapper cover. £25
You can pay me by cheque or at www.Paypal.com, using my email address as the payee account, or by direct bank transfer
Perhaps these books may also be of interest:
Kate Parry Frye: the long life of an Edwardian actress and suffragette
Published by ITV Ventures as a tie-in with the series: ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’ this e-book tells Kate’s life story from her Victorian childhood to her brave engagement with the Elizabethan New Age. For details see here (and many more posts on my website).
Available to download from iTunes or Amazon – £1.19
Campaigning for the Vote: The Suffrage Diary of Kate Parry Frye
Edited by Elizabeth Crawford
‘Saturday June 14th 1913. [Kate is lodging in Baker Street, London]
I had had a black coat and skirt sent there for Miss Davison’s funeral procession and the landlady had given me permission to change in her room. I tore into my black things then we tore off by tube to Piccadilly and had some lunch in Lyons. But the time was getting on – and the cortege was timed to start at 2 o’clock from Victoria. We saw it splendidly at the start until we were driven away from our position and then could not see for the crowds and then we walked right down Buckingham Palace Rd and joined in the procession at the end. It was really most wonderful – the really organised part – groups of women in black with white lilies – in white and in purple – and lots of clergymen and special sort of pall bearers each side of the coffin. She gave her life publicly to make known to the public the demand of Votes for Women – it was only fitting she should be honoured publicly by the comrades. It must have been most imposing. [Plus much more description of the procession as Kate follows it into King’s Cross station]
Campaigning for the Vote tells, in her own words, the efforts of a working suffragist to instil in the men and women of England the necessity of ‘votes for women’ in the years before the First World War. The detailed diary kept all her life by Kate Parry Frye (1878-1959) has been edited to cover 1911-1915, years she spent as a paid organiser for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. The book constitutes that near impossibility – completely new primary material, published for the first time 100 years after the events it records.
With Kate for company we experience the reality of the ‘votes for women’ campaign as, day after day, in London and in the provinces, she knocks on doors, arranges meetings, trembles on platforms, speaks from carts in market squares, village greens, and seaside piers, enduring indifference, incivility and even the threat of firecrackers under her skirt.
Kate’s words bring to life the world of the itinerant organiser – a world of train journeys, of complicated luggage conveyance, of hotels – and hotel flirtations – , of boarding houses, of landladies, and of the ‘quaintness’ of fellow boarders. This was not a way of life to which she was born, for her years as an organiser were played out against the catastrophic loss of family money and enforced departure from a much-loved home. Before 1911 Kate had had the luxury of giving her time as a volunteer to the suffrage cause; now she depended on it for her keep.
No other diary gives such an extensive account of the working life of a suffragist, one who had an eye for the grand tableau – such as following Emily Wilding Davison’s cortege through the London streets – as well as the minutiae of producing an advertisement for a village meeting. Moreover Kate Frye gives us the fullest account to date of the workings of the previously shadowy New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. She writes at length of her fellow workers, never refraining from discussing their egos and foibles. After the outbreak of war in August 1914 Kate continued to work for some time at the society’s headquarters, helping to organize its war effort, her diary entries allowing us to experience her reality of life in war-time London.
Excerpts from Campaigning for the Vote featured in ‘The Women’s Rebellion’, episode 2 of Michael Portillo’s Radio 4 series, 1913: The Year Before –listen here
In his review of the series, published in ‘The Telegraph’, Charles Moore particularly drew attention to Kate’s contribution – see here.
Published by Francis Boutle Publishers – for details see here.
Wrap-around paper covers, 226 pp, over 70 illustrations, all drawn from Kate Frye’s personal archive. £14.99
ISBN 978 1903427 75 0
The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1866-1928: A reference guide
‘It is no exaggeration to describe Elizabeth Crawford’s Guide as a landmark in the history of the women’s movement…’ History Today
Routledge, 2000 785pp paperback £74.99 – Ebook £52.49
The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey
‘Crawford provides meticulous accounts of the activists, petitions, organisations, and major events pertaining to each county.’ Victorian Studies
Routledge, 2008 320pp paperback £30 – Ebook £21
Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle
‘Crawford’s scholarship is admirable and Enterprising Women offers increasingly compelling reading’ Journal of William Morris Studies
For further details see here
Francis Boutle, 2002 338pp 75 illus paperback £25
Copies of all of these books may be bought direct from the publishers or ordered from any bookshop (terrestrial or online)
I expect most of my readers will be familiar with pictures such as this, showing Emily Wilding Davison’s flower-laden hearse, accompanied by WSPU members carrying wreaths and lilies, that made its way through London, from Victoria Station to Kings Cross Station on 14 June 1913. I wonder, however, who else has ever wondered who supplied all those flowers and wreaths? This is the kind of prosaic question that appeals to me – so I thought I’d try and find out.
The answer is that some, if not all, were supplied by Robert Green Ltd, florists, of 28-29 Crawford Street, Marylebone. I know this because the firm capitalised on this commission by subsequently advertising its involvement in that most spectacular of funerals in The Suffragette, the WSPU paper. They also described their firm as ‘London’s Cheapest Florist’. Perhaps that was the reason they received the order – certainly a vast quantity of flowers were required.
Robert Green Ltd was owned by Harry Ernest Green (1872-1940), who was born on the firm’s Crawford Street premises and eventually inherited the business from his father, the eponymous Robert Green. One might deduce that Harry Green was a modern businessman – his family’s 1911 census form is the only one I’ve come across that is typed. He had been married in 1898 and had a son, but his wife and died and in 1909 he had married for a second time – so that in 1911 he was living with his new wife and his nine-year-old son, together with one servant, at 28 Crawford Street.
Presumably they lived above the shop and workshop in which the Robert Green Ltd business was conducted. We know how this ground floor was arranged because it was described in some detail in a court case, Hoare v Robert Green Ltd. In fact it was as a result of this case that a ‘workshop’ under the terms of the Factory and Workshop Act (1901) was defined. The report in The Times , 29 April 1907, reveals that the firm was prosecuted for not displaying a relevant notice from the Factory and Workshop Act 1901. Their defence, that the room behind the shop was not a ‘workshop’ under the terms of the Act, necessitated a description of the room and the women who worked in it.
The firm employed ten young women (aged 17-23) as florist’s assistants, who were selected for their artistic taste, and eight girls (15-17) as beginners. The firm was at pains to point out that the women were paid throughout the year although it was only in May-July that there was sufficient work to occupy them fully. That, of course, was the period known as ‘The Season’ when business did, indeed, boom. And business could be good – The Portsmouth Evening News, 18 January 1904, reporting that ‘Mr Harry Green, manager of Robert Green Ltd the well-known society florists, states that £1000 is quite an ordinary price for West End Society people to lay out for the embellishment of their rooms on the night of a ball.’
During the 1907 seminal court case it was explained that the assistants, and beginners attended retail customers in the shop, went to private homes and hotels to arrange flowers, and were also engaged in the workroom’, producing bouquets, wreaths and crosses and arranging floral decorations. The firm contended that such work was not ‘manual labour’ and that the room in which the women worked was not, therefore, a workshop.
The artistic assistants and the beginners must have been hard at work in the day or two before Emily Davison’s funeral, preparing the wreaths and the decorations that were draped over the hearse.
And perhaps the ‘Madonna Lily’ carried at Emily Wilding Davison’s funeral – and now held in the Women’s Library@ LSE collection ( 7EWD/M/28) – passed through that workshop, to be made ready for its appearance in the hand of one of those women in white escorting the coffin.