Photograph of Christabel Pankhurst


This photograph shows Christabel Pankhurst in exile, avoiding the risk of arrest in Britain. She sits in her office in Paris in early 1913, and the newspaper she edited, The Suffragette, hangs from the edge of her desk emblazoned with the headline ‘What men did to get the vote’.

The Suffragette was founded in 1912, and replaced Votes for Women as the WSPU’s (Women’s Social and Political Union) official voice. Its pages hosted a ramped-up militant tone, documenting stories of attacks on property and historic stories of belligerent action. The issue on Pankhurst’s desk features an illustration of ‘the burning of Nottingham castle during the franchise agitation of 1832’ – the content inside alludes to the use of arson, window-breaking and theft. Militant action was one tactic in the campaign for women’s suffrage.

At the outbreak of World War One, all suffragette activities were suspended and WSPU energies were directed towards helping the war effort. The Suffragette was renamed Britannia to align WSPU activity with the British government.

Full title:
Christabel Pankhurst Sitting at Her Desk
c. 1912 - 1916
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