An entry in an autograph album recently acquired by WCML, 'A Song of the Simple Life' - in which a poor working man is addressed by a 'wicked socialist' who tries to explain how he is being exploited by his aristocratic landlord and his boss 'Mr C'. His wife is then approached by a suffragette who told her ' 'Tis time you had a vote & need it, like the well fed folk; For while you still continue, as you are, without defence, The Earl & Mr C will thrive by this & that pretence'.
The poem is accompanied by a page of rather effective line drawings - one of which shows the 'Suffragette as the wife saw her' - she is the image of Charlotte Despard, made so recognisable with her mantilla - and 'as the husband saw her' - she is the stereotype, hat with feather, umbrella, 'Votes for women' flag, glasses and plaid suit with a hint of a divided skirt. This piece of artistry is signed - in September 1909 - by Frederick Augustus Carlton Smith (1884-1966), a young solicitor. During the First World War Carlton Smith, who, from the testimonials he received, was clearly a man who had involved himself in social work with the Congregational church, was a conscientious objector. By then he was living at 79 Athenaeum Road, Whetstone, London.
The autograph album was purchased in 2016 as part of the project Voting for Change with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Information from Elizabeth Crawford, bookseller.