Letter from Constance Lytton to Annie Kenney, 22 September 1909
Constance Lytton was a prominent suffragette, women's rights activist, and campaigner for prison reform. She was imprisoned on a number of occasions, but felt she was not given the same treatment as other suffragette inmates due to her aristocratic background. To test her theory, she gave a fake name - Jane Warton - after being taken to Walton Gaol, Liverpool. As Jane Warton, she adopted the hunger strike and was force-fed - an experience which disturbed her health for the rest of her life. She documented the experience in her 1914 memoir Prisons and Prisoners.
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[Transcript by Zoe Kelly]
RAIL.KNEBWORTH.G.N.R TELEGRAMS. KNEBWORTH.
After Scotland, I had planned to speak for you-if you should want me- before any [stress]. Headquarters, however, have again decided differently & I have been booked for Birmingham, Liverpool & other districts during October & November.
At present I am quite free in December& January. I am noting down for you [Jan] : 2,3,&4 and a
week on from [start] of these dates.
I see Christabel Pankhurst tomorrow about my plans, & will show her your letter.
I improved a little in my speaking with practice in Scotland tho’ [though] on occasions I was very bad. I hope to be better and more reliable before I come to you.
Good luck to you & your
district- they are getting on well in Scotland. People there are more politically-minded than here and seem to grasp both our claim our fight for it more readily [than] do the new audiences in England.
Your loving friend