The Anglo-Indian is a major in the army. I only learned this tonight. It probably accounts for his excellent stupidity, which inspires respect. His wife, at first very rébarbative, grows more likable every day. Some of them began talking about suffragettes last night, and I had said to the major, seeing him reading The Times, ‘So Christabel [Pankhurst] is out, it seems.’ A Yorkshire young woman asked Mrs Major if she was a sympathizer. ‘On the contrary’, said Mrs Major, ‘I am very much ashamed of them.’ The usual rot was talked. However, Mrs Major said she thought women ought to be on certain committees. The young Yorkshire lass said she thought the woman’s place was in the home. (It is incredible how people still talk.) I then burst out, impatiently, ‘Yes, and what about the millions of them that have to leave home every day to earn a living? What about the mill girls, and the typists?’ This quite unsettled them. They then agreed that unmarried women ought to have the vote. But their whole talk and all the phrases they used were too marvelously stupid.
Journals of Arnold Bennett - Christmas Eve, 19098