Through patronage of an arts movement for working class girls high-born Lady Constance Lytton meets members of the W.S.P.U. and, whilst sympathetic to the cause, opposes militant action. However, as she discovers government bigotry and intransigence and realizes that her family name has no influence in helping the movement her attitude changes. She is arrested and imprisoned after a demonstration but finds that her title gives her privileges denied other convicts and consequently adopts the name Jane Warton for further campaigns. As a result she is subjected to the barbarities of force-feeding and, whilst she survives long enough to see female enfranchisement, her prison experiences exacerbate her heart condition, subjecting her to life as an invalid.
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