Lady Constance Lytton (Paperback)
Prison Reformer and Suffragette
“Prisons, as you know, have been my hobby” wrote the prominent suffragette Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton. An influential British activist as well as a writer, speaker and campaigner for votes for women – and not forgetting prison reform – Constance Lytton was born in Vienna and spent the first eleven years of her life in India (her father was the Viceroy). After meeting a number of suffragettes, particularly at the Esperance Club and including Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Constance took on the 'hobby' of prison reform. She later demonstrated at the House of Commons, along with fellow suffragettes and was arrested, imprisoned, but subsequently released due to her social position and health. Whilst in Holloway Prison in March 1909, she carved the outline of a V on her chest. Outraged by the treatment of fellow suffragettes of a lower class, in January 1910 she took on the pseudonym of Jane Warton to avoid release and suffered much mistreatment, including forcible feeding, at the hands of the prison warders. She was to include these experiences in her book, Prisons and Prisoners. Constance Lytton died in 1923 after many health complications, but with the knowledge that (some) women over the age of 30 had finally been given the right to vote.