Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Annie Kenney, 1921
Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Annie Kenney from March 1921, discussing Annie’s book and women’s future.
At the time, Christabel was writing a book about the women’s suffrage campaign, which was never published. She shares her progress with Annie and announces her decision to write a chapter “about women, especially as they are and may be in the future now we have the vote.” She talks about women having to get accustomed to their new position and realise their newly found responsibilities. “Of course I shall not [. . .] forget that women are not now the victims (shall we say for convenience) that they were when we took their cause in hand.” At the same time, Annie is writing her book Memories of a Militant (1924).
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My [Dearest] Annie,
I have just finished my chapter on the Escape and shall soon be [writing] the chapter on the Exile. If you find that any facts or reflections come spontaneously to your mind, [it] will be very welcome but I don’t want you to force yourself in any way.
One chapter I shall write will about women, especially as they are and may be in the future now we have
the vote. This is a [knolly] subject but I know that [inspiration] will come to me to [say] the true and also the helpful thing.
Of course I shall not [illegible deletion] forget that women are not now the victims (shall we say for convenience) that they were when we took their cause in hand. They are today fully fledged more or less as regard their political rights. It is for them therefore to
grow to the height of their new position and to question themselves whether they have the fullest realisation of their [responsibilities] as well as of their rights.
What [I] mean is [they] need a rather more bracing medicine now than they did when they were still crippled by their disabilities and much now have gone
(as regard many d[---------] and [illegible] as regards any disabilities that remain. I daresay you also have been reflecting upon women as they are and will be.
I hope your precious son is going forward as well as ever [you] could hope[.] I [think] you are [gaining] [strength] too[.] With love as always [There seems to be a reduced signature between the lines here – ‘cp’]. It is [lovely] that March is already here.