Prison memoirs of a suffragette

Prison Voices: Crime and Punishment

Prison memoirs are an interesting and valuable way for us to gain insight into the personal experiences of convicts, in particular those who are no longer alive to share their stories vocally. While reading through different memoirs, I was intrigued by that of Lady Constance Lytton, a British suffragette.

Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer-Lytton, 1908 Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer-Lytton, 1908

Lytton was born into a privileged family in 1869 yet chose to reject the lifestyle of her family and take part in the Women’s Social and Political Union, aiming for Votes for Women. She consequently used the disguise of an ordinary London seamstress and used the nom de guerre of Jane Warton to complete her role.

Dressed as Jane Warton, 1910 Dressed as Jane Warton, 1910

Lytton writes humorously about this choice, describing that ‘The look of Jane Warton was still comic in the extreme, the two wardresses laughed as they undressed her. Her glasses were the subject of excessive care and she…

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