Charlotte Despard (nee French, 1844-1939) was an Anglo-Irish suffragist, socialist, pacifist, Sinn Fein activist, and novelist. She was a founding member of the Women's Freedom League, Women's Peace Crusade and the Irish Women's Franchise League, and an activist in a wide range of organizations throughout the course of her life. Her brother John French became both a leading military commander during World War I and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, putting them on opposing political sides in later life. Her first novel, 'Chaste as Ice, Pure as Snow' was published in 1874 and over the next sixteen years she wrote ten further novels, three of which were never published. This work was published in 1890. Following her husband's death that year she took up charitable work, helping poor people in Battersea, and converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1894 she was elected as a Poor Law Guardian for Lambeth, retiring from the board in 1903. From that time on she became increasingly involved in a wide range of campaigns, and in 1930 toured the Soviet Union, joining the Communist Party of Great Britain on her return which led to her house in Dublin being burnt down three years later by an anti-Communist mob.