A fine photogravure portrait of Florence Eleanor Booth (1861-1957), wife of Bramwell Booth, Second General of The Salvation Army
The high-quality sepia-toned photogravure is printed on stiff card (external dimensions 217 x 255 mm, image size 139 x 190 mm). The wide margin beneath the image is inscribed and signed in ink: 'Yours, affectionately Florence E. Booth. The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Gal[atians] VI 18'. Apart from light creases to two corner tips, the item is in fine condition. Florence Eleanor Soper became a Salvation Army convert in her late teens; in October 1882, 'shortly after her twenty-first birthday, Captain Florence Soper married Chief of the Staff Commissioner Bramwell Booth' (official Salvation Army website). They were married for forty-seven years and had seven children. Shortly before her first child turned one, Florence became involved in the Women's Social Work aspect of The Salvation Army, 'and by the time she relinquished leadership of the WSW in 1912, this spare time ministry of a single rescue home had expanded to more than forty social work centres, of varying types, spread across' England. On the death of his father, Salvation Army founder and General William Booth, in August 1912, Bramwell Booth succeeded him as the Second General, and 'as Mrs General Booth, Florence had to move on to other duties'. This charming portrait appears to date from about this time.