Showing 13 results

Archival description
Sharp, Evelyn Jane (1869-1955), children's writer and suffragette
Print preview View:

13 results with digital objects Show results with digital objects

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brixton Prison.—Is glad to hear she is getting on well. Duval and Evelyn Sharp have visited, and he has started learning Italian. Looks forward to seeing her on Thursday.

—————

Transcript

Brixton Prison
9th March 1912

Dearest

Thank you for sending me news that you are getting on all right, I hope by this time you have had your letters, this is the third I have written to you {1}. I am very well indeed & feel sure when you see me on Thursday you will think so too. I had a very pleasant visit from Duval yesterday aft[er]noon and from Evelyn Sharp this morning.

I have just started learning Italian, I have not got far enough yet to be able to say how I like it. I thought when I came here I should get through an immense mass of reading, but somehow there are so many things which take up time, that I do very little & of that a good deal goes in reading the newspapers.

We had a hymn practice this morning in chapel which I thought was good; some of the hymns & tunes were inspiring & refreshing.

I had my second exercise indoors yesterday afternoon as it was wet but today is lovely and I expect we shall get both outside.

It will be jolly to see you on Thursday {2} but mind! you have got to look as well as I do!

your loving
Husband.

—————

At the head is printed, ‘In replying to this letter, please write on the enve-lope:— Number 3408 Name Lawrence F. P.’, the name and number being filled in by hand. The word ‘Prison’ of the address and the first two digits of the year are also printed, and the letter is marked with the reference ‘C1/12’ and some initials. Strokes of letters omitted either deliber-ately or in haste have been supplied silently.

{1} Only one of the previous letters (PETH 6/110) has survived.

{2} 14th.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brixton Prison.—Is glad to hear she is well. His Italian is progressing, and he has been attending chapel. Evelyn Sharp, Mary Neal, and Sayers have visited, and his sister Annie has written.

—————

Transcript

Brixton Prison
11th March 1912

Dearest

I was delighted to get your letter and to learn from it that things are going well with you and that you have come across some of the others—you will not now feel at all alone. Also you need not have the smallest anxiety about me as I am very well[,] have plenty to do and get regular exercise & have not a trace left of indigestion. I started learning Italian on Saturday {1} and have already made a good deal of progress; I find it very easy, in view of French and Latin, and also very fascinating; when I know a little more I shall start on Dante.

I had two visitors on Saturday as in addition to Miss Evelyn Sharp, the Govenor† kindly allowed me to see Mary Neal who was on her way to Holmwood & wanted instructions. It was a great pleasure to see them both. Sayers came to day & I quite cheered him up—he has promised to send me a book I have not yet read—I forget its name. I have also had a letter from my sister Annie & I shall send her a reply soon. It will not be long after you get this that we shall meet—that will be good will it not though the place will be not one that we would naturally choose! Also we shall see those two other dear people—I hope they will be better than they were last Wednesday {2}.

I went to Chapel twice yesterday—there was some very hearty singing, I have not missed any day except the first.

Your loving
Husband

—————

At the head is printed, ‘In replying to this letter, please write on the envelope:— Number 3408 Name Lawrence F. P.’, the name and number being filled in by hand. The word ‘Prison’ of the address and the first two digits of the year are also printed, and the letter is marked with the reference ‘C1/12’ and some initials. Strokes of letters omitted either deliberately or in haste have been supplied silently.

{1} 9th.

{2} 6th.

† Sic.

Letter from Evelyn Sharp to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

The Cottage, Cold Ash, Berks.—Suggests she should only be paid for only half her holiday, as she will not be returning as assistant-editor (of Votes for Women). Is sorry to end her connection with the paper, and is grateful for what she has learnt.

The Women’s Bulletin, including a memoir of Evelyn Sharp by Lord Pethick-Lawrence

(Mechanical copy of a typed original.)

Extract

EVELYN SHARP
by The Rt. Hon. Lord Pethick-Lawrence of Peaslake

Evelyn Sharp was a valiant suffragette, and a most lovable friend. She had great talents and devoted all of them to the woman’s movement willingly and without stint.

She was one of a distinguished family. Her brother, Cecil, will live in history as the compiler of old English songs and folk dances which he collected from remote parts of England and America. Another brother was head of the London Fire Brigade and originated the particular bell which the fire engines ring to clear the streets. She herself before the outbreak of the militant movement was a journalist and an author of children’s stories. She had an instinctive insight into a child’s mind and her books attained great popularity among the young.

Much of this work she had to abandon as she threw herself more and more into the activities of the votes-for-women cause. She spoke at meetings, she wrote articles for the press, she took part in illegal militancy, suffered imprisonment, and underwent the hunger strike. She never lost her sense of humour, she never became bitter, she never forsook her innate humility.

I well remember the occasion when in 1912 I called on her to make what I suppose was the greatest sacrifice of all for the cause—the abandonment of all her outside work in order to devote her whole time to editing the weekly organ—Votes for Women. I had long foreseen that one day I myself as editor of the paper might be arrested and I had turned over in my mind to whom I could entrust the position during my imprisonment. I could think of no one who could fill it half so well as Evelyn. But I realised that if I approached her before my arrest she was likely to offer all sorts of objections and I decided to wait until the event occurred when I felt sure her loyalty and devotion would sweep all hesitation aside.

But I had not counted upon my arrest being made late in the evening with the instruction my wife and me to prepare ourselves for immediate departure to the police station. The paper was only 24 hours away from going to the press. How was I going to communicate with Evelyn in time? At that moment our front door bell rang. A visitor was announced—Miss Evelyn Sharp! For no particular reason she had selected that evening for coming to see my wife and myself! We were allowed a few minutes’ conversation with her. I put my request. She accepted the onerous responsibility without demur.

Through the troublous months and years that followed until the vote was won she remained at her post either alone or in association with myself and my wife; and in her expert and courageous hands the continuity of the paper and its policy was maintained with dignity and determination.

The friendship between us was sealed by this sacrifice and we were fortunate in finding ourselves in agreement regarding many of the world issues which arose after the women’s victory was won. I was particularly pleased that she was able to make a second literary reputation. Her articles in the press had a pungency all her own without a trace of malice. Among her noteworthy books were a biography of Hertha Ayrton, “The London Child”, “The Child Grown Up” and an autobiography—“Unfinished Adventure”. She also wrote the libretto for Vaughan Williams’ musical comedy “The Poisoned Kiss”. It was an added happiness to my wife and myself when in 1933 she married our old friend Henry Nevinson.

As she passed into the eighties she came to need the care and attention which only a nursing home can provide and I frequently gave myself the pleasure of visiting her there. On these occasions, up till a little while before she died her face would light up with interest as we shared some reminiscence of the suffrage days.

Pethick Lawrence.