Suffragette Postcards

 

 

This is the house that man built: the pro-suffrage set

MESSAGE:

My Dearest “Kitty”

Fancy you remembering me. It was awfully nice of you. Why did you not come Thur? You did miss a treat. Mr Hun- said “Good Bye”,  with many tears Poor man, he really did a weep. I’ll tell you what the presents were next time I see you.  Can’t say much here. By the way I think you’ll be interested in the events recorded on tother side.  I am. Fancy you not seeing your report, I could not have waited for mine. But of course you knew your position. So glad you are having a jolly time. I’ve had a [xxx]

[continues at top of card at right angles to main text]:

holiday. So long, much love, hoping to see you next Monday morning (no lengthy [xxx] holiday please) your loving [xxx] [xxx]

[continues at top of card above address, and upside dwon):

My report was rather nice, for X me

 

SENT TO:

Miss Katie Clements, c/o Mrs Green, 10 Uplands Crescent, Swansea, Wales. The British Isles. The World.

 

POSTMARKED:

Bristol, 10am, Ap 22 11

Following on from the earlier series of anti-suffrage cards, six pro-suffrage (Series E23) were produced. They date to around 1910. As with the earlier anti set of cards by the same publisher, the ‘house’ in the verse refers to the British Houses of Parliament.

McDonald writes that “the spirit of conciliation no doubt inspired these cards”, noting that the suffragettes are depicted as smartly dressed and capable. He links some of the incidents on the cards to documented events, such as the ‘From Prison to Citizenship’ banner carried in a procession of around 1,000 ex-prisoners in 1911 (below right) and Emaline Pankhurst’s attack on the windows of No 10 Downing Street in 1912 (in the anti set). McDonald also notes that several of the cards carry messages of encouragement and hope for the suffrage movement.

About the cards

Verso on the card above left

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built

But oh what a wonderful change inside

The women as well as the men preside

They both hold the reins and no one complains

For the men now admit that the ladies’ have brains

And are every bit quite as fitted to sit

As themselves in this House that man built.

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built,

And these are a few of the Ladies of Fame

Anxious to write M.P. after their name,

With each sex on a par; why put up the bar?

For M.P. means either Mama or Papa,

Quoth the sweet Suffragette we’re entitled to get

Into “THE HOUSE” that man built.

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built,

And these are the Suffragettes of note

Determined to fight for their right to vote;

For they mean to be, each one an M.P.

And they’ll keep their vow some fine day you’ll see,

For the Suffragette is determined to get

Into, “THE HOUSE” that man built.

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built,

And this is the Minister weary and worn

Who treated the Suffragette with scorn,

Who wanted a vote, and (a saying to quote),

Dared him to tread on the trail of the coat

Of the bold Suffragette determined to get.

Into “THE HOUSE” that man built.

MESSAGE:

Dear E, Many thanks for PG– shall be pleased to see you both on Wed. Start early if you walk the [...] way would be to keep straight on instead of turning to go over Stratford Bridge. Shall expect you both to [...] hope it will be fine yours [...]

SENT TO:

Miss E. Dunsford, 31 Bourne-[...], Salisbury, Wilts.

 

POSTMARKED:

Middle Woodford,  8pm, Dec 1913

 

Verso on the card to the left

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built,

And these are the Members who’ve been sitting late

Coming out arm in arm, from a lengthy debate,

Women and men ‘neath the shade of Big Ben

In the Year – well we cannot exactly say when;

But the brave Suffragette very shortly must get

Into “THE HOUSE” that man built.

This is “THE HOUSE” that man built,

And this is the Flag of the Woman’s Franchise,

Which is making our Ministers open their eyes:

Fighting with grit, to the front bit by bit;

Determined in Parliament one day to sit,

The bold Suffragette who is sure to get yet

Into “THE HOUSE” that man built.

To the right is a photo of the demonstration in which the banner ‘From Prison to Citizenship’ by Laurence Houseman was carried by around 1,000 ex-prisoners.