Prisons and Prisoners
Some Personal Experiences
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551115931 / 155111593X
  • 372 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Prisons and Prisoners

Some Personal Experiences

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551115931 / 155111593X
  • 372 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Prisons and Prisoners is the autobiography of aristocratic suffragette Constance Lytton. In it, she details her militant actions in the struggle to gain the vote for women, including her masquerade and imprisonment as the working-class “Jane Warton.” As a member of a well-known political family (and grand-daughter of the famous novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton), Lytton’s arrests garnered much attention at the time, but she was treated differently than other suffragettes because of her class—when other suffragettes were forcibly fed while on hunger strikes, she was released. “Jane Warton,” however, was forcibly fed, an act that permanently damaged Lytton’s health, but that also became a singular moment in the history of women’s and prisoner’s rights.

This Broadview edition includes news articles, reviews, and illustrations on women’s suffrage from the periodicals of the time.


“Women’s enfranchisement and prison reform combine powerfully in Prisons and Prisoners, Constance Lytton’s 1914 memoir of brutal incarcerations for her participation in the militant Suffragette movement. The ‘pent-up feelings of indignation and revolt’ in this book first published on the eve of the First World War resonate no less provocatively nearly a century later, as questions of detention, hunger strikes, forcible feeding, and torture underwrite local and everyday challenges to global advocates for human rights and social justice. As Lytton concludes her account, ‘I hear the cry go up from all parts of the country, How long? How long?’” — Barbara Harlow, University of Texas at Austin

“Jason Haslam’s edition of Prisons and Prisoners provides an excellent context for Lytton’s work. The introduction is comprehensive in its discussion of Lytton’s biography, the women's suffrage movement, and the state of penology at the time. Particularly significant is its consideration that Lytton’s goal of giving voice to female inmates raises complex issues of class and privilege. The front matter and appendices are extremely relevant and helpful. The context offered by the readings in the appendices makes the edition very appropriate for both classroom study and serious research. The bibliographies are very thoughtfully planned, offering a wealth of complementary material linking to Prisons and Prisoners from a variety of perspectives.” — Judith Scheffler, West Chester University



Constance Lytton: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

Prisons and Prisoners: Some Personal Experiences

Appendix A: Glossary of Names

Appendix B: Other Suffragette Writing by Constance Lytton

  1. “Woman Suffrage,” The Times (14 July 1909)
  2. From “The Prison Experiences of Lady Constance Lytton,” Votes for Women (28 January 1910)
  3. From “A Speech by Lady Constance Lytton. Delivered at the Queen’s Hall, January 31, 1910,”
    Votes for Women (4 February 1910)

Appendix C: Suffrage Material Concerning Lytton

  1. From “The Outlook,” Votes for Women (28 January 1910)
  2. Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, “Lady Constance Lytton,” Votes for Women (28 January 1910)
  3. From “The ‘Liverpool Courier’ on ‘Jane Warton’s’ Imprisonment”;
    “Some Press Comments,” Votes for Women (4 February 1910)
  4. From Victor Lytton, “The House of Lords and Women’s Suffrage: Speech by The Earl of Lytton in the Debate
    in the House of Lords,—May 6th, 1914” (1914)

Appendix D: Reviews of Prisons and Prisoners

  1. “‘Prisons and Prisoners’: Some Reviews of Lady
    Constance Lytton’s Book,” The Suffragette (27 March 1914)
  2. From Christabel Pankhurst, “A Prisoner’s Book,” The Suffragette (13 and 20 March
  3. “Views and Comments,” The Egoist: An Individualist Review (15 May 1914)

Appendix E: Material Concerning Suffragettes and Prison

  1. “Suffragist Women Prisoners,” Home Office Papers and Memoranda 1889–1910 (1910)
  2. From Kate Lilley, Prisoners and Prison Life (1912)

Appendix F: Photographs and Suffragette Cartoons and Sketches

  1. Portrait of Constance Lytton (1914)
  2. Portrait of Jane Warton (1914)
  3. “Forcible Feeding in Prison” (28 January 1910)
  4. “Suffragettes at Home” (14 April 1909)
  5. “The Suffragette that Knew Jiu-Jitsu: The Arrest” (6 July 1910)

Select Bibliography

Jason Haslam is Associate Professor of English at Dalhousie University and the author of Fitting
Sentences: Identity in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Prison Narratives
(University of Toronto Press, 2005).