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Constance Lytton (1869–1923)

Author of Prisons and Prisoners

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Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton was a daughter of Edward Robert, first Earl of Lytton, later British Viceroy of India, and his wife Edith Villiers. Lady Constance never married, and lived in seclusion with her mother until 1906. Around that time, she received an inheritance that provided her with financial independence, and she joined the women's suffrage movement, becoming a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was imprisoned several times due to her involvement in militant protests. She went on hunger strikes, but was always released (possibly because of her high station in society). Convinced that other prisoners were treated much worse, in 1910 she disguised herself as a seamstress, taking the pseudonym "Jane Wharton." After inciting people to stone the car of a member of Parliament, Lady Constanced was arrested and repeatedly force-fed; during her imprisonment, she suffered a heart attack and several strokes and was partially paralysed. Although disabled, she continued to assist the suffrage movement by writing numerous articles and organizing petitions. She published an influential account of her own experiences entitled Prisons and Prisoners: some Personal Experiences by C. Lytton and Jane Wharton, Spinster (1914) before her death at age 54.
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