Database of Poems

Back to results

[There's a strange sort of college]

1918: Representation of the People Act

Author: Edith Aubrey Wingrove

Publication: Holloway Jingles

Publisher: Glasgow Branch of the W.S.P.U (Women's Social and Political Union)

Published: 1912

Place of publication: Glasgow, Scotland

Publication type: Chapbook

No full copy of this poem is available.

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): RB.s.591
Pages(s): 15-17

This poem appears in Holloway Jingles, a collection of poems written by militant suffragettes serving sentences in Holloway Prison during March and April, 1912, which were compiled by a Glaswegian inmate, Nancy A. John, and subsequently published by the Glasgow branch of the W.S.P.U. (the militarist Women's Social and Political Union).  The poem, we are told, was 'written during the hunger strike', which a Glaswegian (Janie Allan) was instrumental in starting. It is formed of eight six-line stanzas and it attacks the hypocrisy of those who simply sing '"Rule, Britannia," / Britons never shall be slaves' bu tdo not support the suffragette cause.  The poem portrays Holloway Prison as a college, where the 'students' (the suffragettes) learn important lessons and prepare themselves 'for the fight'.