[ Percy Nash [ Percy Cromwell Nash ] (1869-1958), actor, dramatist and film director; Selfridge & Co., London department store ]
Without place or date. [ London, circa 1911. ]
An interesting artefact of both London theatre history and women's studies. On one side of a 35 x 25 cm rectangle of vellum. Dusty, and creased at head, with slight damp staining, and with a central horizontal fold. The 27 signatures are arranged in three columns, beneath the following inscription: 'The accompanying Fountain Pen is presented to Mr.
[ Percy Nash [ Percy Cromwell Nash ] (1869-1958), actor, dramatist and film director] [ Votes for Women; Suffragettes; Women's suffrage; Harry Gordon Selfridge; Selfridge's department store, London ]
[ London, circa 1911. ]
The present item is anonymous, but is certainly an early draft of 'The Suffrage Girl', the play written by film pioneer Percy Nash while an executive at Selfridge's department store in London, and performed by the store's employees in 1911 at the Court Theatre. (For more information see E. D. Rappaport's 'Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London's West End' (Princeton, 2001), as well as S.
[National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, London (<Elie?> Stopford, Secretary, a relation of Irish writer Alice Stopford Green (1847-1929)?]
On letterhead of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, Westminster, London. 4 June 1917.
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, on aged and creased paper. The first name of the signature is difficult to decipher. She writes that she met Lynd 'some time ago at Mrs. Green's', and that she remembered her name 'when Mrs. Heseltine suggested it in connection with a vacancy which we have at present time at this office. | The vacancy is for a Press Writer, i.e.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), British political activist and leader of the suffragette movement [female suffrage; Victorian humour; sexuality; social history]
Without date or place. [England, 1890s?]
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on aged and worn paper, folded twice. Written in a late Victorian or Edwardian hand. The 'Address' is an interesting survival: the sort of ribald saloon-bar joke through which male opponents of the movement sought to tame it through ridicule. Similar examples survive, attributed to Lady Astor speaking in parliament, but this version clearly predates these. Here is a transcript of what is a concentrated dose of double-entendre: 'Mrs.
Folding card, making four pages. 12mo. Page 1, commences with the pledge ("Realizing that 'votes for women' is the most urgent and vital reform of today and must take precedence of any further social legislation because . . . ", reasons given followed by an undertaking to put Woman's Suffrage first in voting and spaces for a signature and address. Page 2, postal address on what would form a postcard.
Beatrice Harraden (1864-1936), novelist and suffragette [John Gideon Wilson (1876-1963), bookseller, of J. & E. Bumpus Ltd]
18 March [no year]; 'c/o The Halcyon Club | 13. Cork St. | W. [London]'
12mo: 2 pp. Twenty-eight lines of closely-written text. Clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. She has received his letter and the cheque for £7 10s 'for the Vidal', about the sale of which and the price she is 'very much pleased'. 'You do not mention the commission [...] I hope for good luck with Hall's Stradivari later.' His 'kindness [...] is greatly appreciated'. 'I hope to come in one day when the spring is really here.