Louisa Garrett Anderson to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 7LGA/1/2/4
  • Dates of Creation
      c. Mar 1912
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Written from Holloway Prison. Undated. Written in pencil, folded, with 'Mother' on the outside. Transcript:

Dearest

This is the most wonderful experience I have ever had. As I have to be here, I am not worrying about the long absence from work, or friends or home and I am just accepting what comes day by day. It is a wonderful mixture: of sadness and hopelessness; of joy and conviction and hope. A prison in which block after block is full of people who feel it a consecration to be in it ceases to be a prison. A new atmosphere is created. There are several people who sing well and the choruses of the Suffrage Songs and the Cavalier Songs go round the blocks when it gets too dark to read.

I have been moved into a lighter and better cell in which there is a little air. Everyone is kind to us. One can realise what a terrible experience it was for the first women who came here but they have transformed the whole place.

I am very well - indeed greatly rested. I don't mind living on bread and butter and potatoes, and people who are allowed to have food in give me scraps. I sleep for 12 hrs every night and sometimes in the day as well. I haven't had such a rest for years.

Lord Rosebery's Chatham is interesting me. Also Lawrence and Barbara's book about the condition of the Labourers before the first Reform Bill and I also have a prison book.

I thought of you all a great deal yesterday and on Saturday and I was so glad that it was fine. On Sunday morning we paced round and round a grimy brick yard with high walls on all sides and near us in another yard were the real prisoners - some with babies - they had not bad faces. It seems just a bit of good luck to come to Holloway to fight against conditions of life which are so hard for women, instead of coming here because one has been pushed under by them.

Please give my love to Alan and Ivy and Aaa.

I do hope that this letter will reach you safely and make you feel happy about us. The box of flowers came and was v. sweet.

Very much love dearest,

Yrs LGA