The Yellow Caravan: Research Aspects
The Yellow Caravan is based on three documents retained in boxes by family members. We might all have un-discovered boxes in our attics! Neglected and forgotten they can provide rare insights into your family's past.
Research Aspect 1: Comparing the poem with diary
The main documents that the author draws on is a poem and the diary of Honor Elwes, one of the young ladies that went on the camping trip with her friends. How does the poem, which was written afterwards, and the diary, compare and what might it tell us about their experiences?
Research Aspect 2:The Yellow Caravan Photographs
An additional source drawn on was a photograph album found in another box. One might presume that this was Honor's as well, but it might not necessarily be the case. What evidence is there that is was her sister's and which of the three women might have taken the photographs it contains? What deductions might be made by examining the photographs and their captions to shed further light on the relationship between the three of them and their trip?
Research Aspect 3:The Caravan
The Yellow Caravan had been one of a pair or wagons used in a travelling bioscope show that visited villages and fairgrounds at the turn of the century. These travelling shows operated between 1897 and about 1912 but fell out of favour once cinema took off in permanent buildings. Here you can examine the construction of the van and compare it with what is believed to be the only remaining bioscope wagon still surviving.
Research Aspect 4: Why did they get confused with Suffragettes?
In Honor’s diary for 29 May she remarks, "We found an awfully nice farm and the farmer said we certainly might camp there provided we weren’t Suffragettes or anything political!". So why did three young women travelling in a brightly coloured caravan get confused as Suffragettes?