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Book Description
FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [xii], [338], [2], [16 catalogue] + portrait frontis and 1 additional plate featuring ‘Jane Warton, Spinster’(see cover page). Original purple cloth, gilt stamped lettering to spine, Sylvia Pankhurst’s Medallion in green and white to upper board. Spine cocked and sunned, extremities rubbed, edges tanned with a few spots. Foxing to endpapers, occasionally to margins, POI to title page: “Maisie Leared/1914”. Else, clean and tight. A pleasing copy of Lytton’s compelling account of her prison experiences, bound in Suffragette colours.
Dealer Notes
Lady Constance Lytton (1869-1923) joined the WSPU in 1909, becoming an influential figure for the movement. She initially received preferential treatment in Newcastle Prison because of her family name and heart condition, but,to raise public awareness of the “barbarous ill-treatment”of women political prisoners,she “determined myself to share their fate,”disguising herself –through ugliness, she tells us –as Jane Warton, Spinster (the first name selected as “‘Jane’ was the name of Joan of Arc”). This concealment led to much harsher treatment during later periods of incarceration, including force feeding; her account makes for difficult reading. Following a series of strokes, Lytton retired from militant activism in 1912. In a letter to Lytton’s sister Betty Balfour written the same year from Holloway Prison, Ethel Smyth observed: “The adoration of Suffragettes for ‘Lady Conny’is a thing to see, not tho’to wonder at”(Lytton, 1925).

Maisie Leared is likely Jane Mary‘Maisie’ Leared (1873-1960), sister-in-law of Olive Hockin (later Leared, 1880-1936), artist and Suffragette. In 1913 Hockin was herself imprisoned for four months for an arson attack on Roehampton Golf Club, as well as being charged with damaging the orchid house at Kew Gardens and pouring corrosive liquid into a letterbox (Crawford, 1999).

Elizabeth Crawford (1999)The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A reference guide, 1866-1928. London: UCL Press; Constance Lytton; Betty Balfour (arranger)(1925)The Letters of Lady Constance Lytton. London: William Heinemann.
Author LYTTON, Constanceand WARTON, Spinster, Jane; [LEARED, Maisie]
Date ©1914
Publisher London: William Heinemann
Condition Very good

Price: £135.00

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