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ROBINS, Elizabeth.

'Where Are You Going To...?'

London: William Heinemann, 1913 Stock Code: 137503

Unfortunately this item is no longer available.

An attack on sexual double standards

First UK edition, first impression, of Robins's popular anti-white-slavery novel, written in the wake of the controversial passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1912 and at a time when the women's suffrage movement was drawing attention to the topic of prostitution. On the first blank a facsimile reproduces the note, " - Every incident in this book founded on fact - ", referencing Robins's source material; the family on whom Robins based her story remained anonymous. It was published the same year as Christabel Pankhurst's The Great Scourge and How to End It, a similarly angled attack on sexual double standards and hypocrisy.

Actress and writer Elizabeth Robins (1862-1952) was best-known for her roles in Ibsen's plays and as the author of Votes for Women! (1907), credited with inaugurating suffrage drama. She was also the first president of the NUWSS-afflliated Women Writers' Suffrage League (WWSL), whose members included Charlotte Despard, Alice Meynell, Evelyn Sharp, Marie Belloc Lowndes, and Margaret Nevinson. "Aware of the precariousness of the stage as a profession for women and supporting her impecunious family, she had been writing and selling stories since the 1880s. Her early novels, such as George Mandeville's Husband (1894), published by her admirer William Heinemann, were pseudonymous but C. E. Raimond's identity was revealed after her first real success, The Open Question. Robins published fourteen novels and two collections of short stories. Although her fiction tackled risqué social issues such as suicide and prostitution, her best-seller was an innocuous adventure story of gold-seeking men" (ODNB), The Magnetic North (1904). In later life Robins was one of the original directors of the feminist periodical Time and Tide and a vice-president of the Six Point Group.

'Where Are You Going To...?' was first published in the US, originally serialized in two parts in McClure's periodical (December 1912) and then printed in book form by Dodd, Mead and Co. under the title My Little Sister (a silent film version of the same name starring Evelyn Nesbit was released in 1919). It appeared in Britain in January 1913. "Within weeks of publication over 18,000 orders had been placed for the British version alone." (John, p. 189)

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Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in silver, title lettered to front board in black curlicue typeface, publisher's device to rear board.


16 pp. publisher's advertisements at rear. A very good copy, the cloth and lettering bright and fresh, contents clean and evenly toned, spine ends gently bruised and rubbed.


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