Clemence Housman

Clemence Housman (Clemence Annie Housman. November 23rd, 1861 – December 6th, 1955) was an English writer and illustrator.

Her mother died in 1871, when Housman was ten. Clemence was educated at home by tutors, and later attended Bromsgrove School. After her father died, she and her brother Laurence moved to London in 1883, and attended the City and Guilds of London Art School (also known as South London School of Technical Art and Lambeth School of Art).

Clemence soon began her career as a wood engraver, and worked for various magazines and newspapers, such as The Graphic. She illustrated some of her brother Laurence’s works, such as The Field of Clover (1898) and Blue Moon (1904). Between 1908 and 1914, she also made banners for the suffrage movement.

In 1890, Clemence published her first novella, The Were-Wolf, in Atalanta magazine. The story was later published as a book in 1896.

She was also a fierce supporter of the women’s rights movement. In 1908, Clemence subscribed to the Women’s Social and Political Union, and, in 1909, she was a co-founder of the Suffrage Atelier, together with her brother Laurence Housman. She also joined the Women’s Tax Resistance League, in 1910, refusing to pay taxes until women obtained the right to vote. As a result, she was arrested on September 30th, 1911, but was soon released.

Clemence lived with her brother Laurence for most of her life. After suffering from a severe stroke in 1953, she moved into a local nursing home, where she was to spend the rest of her life. She died on December 6th, 1955.

Books

  • The Were-wolf (1896)
  • Unknown Sea (1898)
  • The Life of Sir Aglovale De Galis (1905)

Anthologies

About her

  • Inseparable Siblings: A Portrait of Clemence and Laurence Housman, by Elizabeth Oakley (2009)
  • The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866–1928, by Elizabeth Crawford (2002)

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