Swan, Annie S.

An American Woman

  • First edition first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "Mrs. Bull, with the author's very kind regards, Christmas 1900".

    An uncommon presentation inscription by the fascinating Scottish novelist, suffragette, and politician Annie S. Swan (1859-1943). Swan began writing fiction as a teenager and her first book, Wrongs Righted, was published in 1881 when she was 22. Her next novel, Aldersyde (1883) made her reputation, receiving warm public praise from William Gladstone and setting in motion her prolific career as a novelist and magazine contributor.

    Swan was for decades a prominent suffragist. She was a sought-after public speaker on the cause and wrote numerous magazine pieces, many under her male pen-name. Her 1910 novel Margaret Holroyd: or, the Pioneers, centered on a young suffragette and dealt with many of the issues faced by womens' rights campaigners, including ethical dilemmas over the use of violence. Once women were granted the vote, Swan became one of the first female election candidates, standing unsuccessfully for the Maryhill division of Glasgow during the 1922 general election. She remained engaged with politics and in 1934 was one of the co-founders of the Scottish National Party. Swan was also active in the Temperance movement, and during the First World War she toured America to rally support for the British cause.

  • London: Hutchinson & Co, 1900. Octavo. Original blue cloth, elaborate Art Nouveau blocking in gold, green, and black to spine and upper board. Frontispiece and 7 plates. 8 page publisher's ads at rear. Cloth just a little rubbed and dulled, spotting to edges of text block and early and late leaves, endpapers tanned. A very good copy.

Collections: Women's History

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