Alice Meynell

Alice Meynell

Alice Thompson, the sister of the artist, Elizabeth Butler, was born in Barnes, London, in 1847. Alice's first book of poems, Preludes, was published in 1875. Two years later she married the journalist, Wilfrid Meynell (1852-1948). A Roman Catholic, Meynell had eight children between 1879 and 1891.

Alice and her husband co-edited several magazines including The Pen (1880-1881), The Weekly Register (1881-1895) and Merry England (1883-1895). From 1894 she contributed a weekly column to the Pall Mall Gazette. Books by her included The Rhythm of Life (1893), Poems (1893), Holman Hunt (1893), The Colour of Life (1896), The Children (1897), The Spirit of Place (1899) and Ruskin (1900).

Meynell was a member of the National Union of Suffrage Societies but was critical of the militant methods used by the Women's Social and Political Union.

In 1908 the famous playwright, Cicely Hamilton, formed the Women Writers Suffrage League (WWSL). The WWSL stated that its object was "to obtain the vote for women on the same terms as it is or may be granted to men. Its methods are those proper to writers - the use of the pen." Meynell was one of the first women to join the WWSL.

In later years Meynell concentrated on writing poetry and her collected work was published in 1917. Alice Meynell died in 1922.