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Prisons and Prisoners

Constance Lytton

Book Overview: 

Constance Lytton worked along Emmeline Pankhurst for the cause of women's suffrage in England. Upset that she was getting preferential treatment by the authorities, she assumed a pseudonym (Jane Wharton) so that her titled status wouldn't be obvious. This book chronicles her involvement in the suffrage movement, including her arrest and subsequent incarceration at Holloway Prison, a place notorious for the poor treatment of the women in their charge.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My two stranger friends in the crowd, however, not being marked by badges were always returning to my help. The occasion most literally turned out to be one for “deeds, not words.” Being doubled up for want of breath, I could scarcely see where I was going, but my instinct led me to avoid the police in every way that I could. They were placed about in twos and threes in no apparent special formation, but now and then one came to a whole line of them, standing shoulder to shoulder. I was during most of the time physically incapable of speech. I only twice was able to express myself in words, on both occasions when I was lifted off my feet and relieved of the toil of dragging my own body. First when the crowd wedged me up against a policeman, I said to him: “I know you are only doing your duty and I am doing mine.” His only answer was to seize me with both his hands round the ribs, squeeze the remaining[46] breath out of my body and, lifting me . . . Read More

Community Reviews

A simply wonderful book about some very courageous women. Constance Lytton and the other women should always be remembered for their sacrifices.

Relationship to the truth:
True. There's enough detail in the account, the author either has an excellent memory or kept notes or both (or more). Is there a source of bias? The person was absolutely convinced of what they were doing. It seems a noble cause. However, if you have met someone with a ve