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Mrs. Warren's Daughter A Story of the Woman's Movement   By: (1858-1927)

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MRS. WARREN'S DAUGHTER

A Story of the Woman's Movement

By

SIR HARRY JOHNSTON

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1920

TO

MY JURY OF MATRONS:

WINIFRED JOHNSTON ELLA HEPWORTH DIXON CATHERINE WELLS ANGELA MOND BEATRICE SANDS MARGARET POWYS ANNETTE HENDERSON FLORENCE FELLOWES MARY LEVY RAY ROCKMAN BRAHAM FLORENCE TRAVERS MAUD PARRY

THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED, IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT IN THE MAIN IT HAS THEIR SYMPATHY AND APPROVAL.

H. H. JOHNSTON

POLING, March, 1920

PREFACE

The earlier part of Vivien Warren's life and that of her mother, Catherine Warren, was told by Mr. George Bernard Shaw in his play, "Mrs. Warren's Profession," published first in 1898.

( Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant : 1. Unpleasant . Constable and Co., 6th Edition.)

I have his permission to continue the story from 1898 onwards. To understand my sequel it is not necessary to have read the play which so brilliantly placed the Warren problem before us. But as most persons of average good education have found Mr. Shaw's comedies necessary to their mental furnishing, their understanding of contemporary life, it is probable that all who would be drawn to this book are already acquainted with the story of Mrs. Warren, and will be interested in learning what happened after that story was laid down by Mr. Shaw in 1897. I would in addition placate hostile or peevish reviewers by reminding them of the continuity of human histories; of biographies, real though a little disguised by the sauce of fiction and unreal because entitled Life and Letters, by His Widow . The best novel or life story ever written does not commence with its opening page. The real commencement goes back to the Stone ages or at any rate to the antecedent circumstances which led up to the crisis or the formation of the characters portrayed. Mr. Pickwick had a father, a grandfather; a mother in a mob cap; in the eighteenth century. It is permissible to speculate on their stories and dispositions. Neither does a novel or a biography end with the final page of its convenient instalment.

When you lay down the book which describes the pathetic failure of Lord Randolph Churchill, you do so with curiosity as to what will become of Winston. With a pre knowledge of the Pickwick Club, one may usefully employ the imagination in tracing out the possible careers of Sam Weller's chubby little boys; grown into old men, and themselves, perchance, leaving progeny that may have married into the peerage from the Turf, or have entered the War Cabinet at the beckoning of Mr. Lloyd George.

I know of descendants of Madame de Brinvilliers in England who have helped to found the Y.W.C.A.; and collateral offshoots from the Charlotte Corday stock who are sternly opposed to the assassination of statesmen journalists.

So, I have taken on myself the continuation of the story outlined twenty three years ago by Mr. Shaw in its late Victorian stage. He had a prior claim to do so; just as he might have shown us the life but not the letters, for she was illiterate of Catherine Warren's mother, the frier of fish and letter of lodgings on Tower Hill in the 'forties and 'fifties of the last century; and of the young Lieutenant Warren of the Tower garrison who lodged and cohabited with her at intervals between 1850 and 1854, when he went out to the Crimea and there died of frost bite and neglected wounds. Mr. Shaw has waived such claims, having, as Vivie's grandmother would have said, "other fish to fry." But for this I should not have ventured to take up the tale, as I hold an author while he lives has a prescriptive right to his creations. I shall feel no bitterness in Nirvana if, after my death, another continues the story of Vivie or of her friends and collateral relations, under circumstances which I shall not live to see.

In justice to Mr... Continue reading book >>




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