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Not Like Other Girls by Rosa Nouchette Carey

Not Like Other Girls

by Rosa Nouchette Carey

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As a high church Anglican I’m not sure if Miss Nouchette Carey (1840-1909) read The Communist Manifesto. However, this domestic melodrama about Mrs Challoner and her daughters and the loss of their investments proves that the power dynamics of labour concerned even penniless nice families. Resourceful and eager to avoid the hideous ways of the genteel poor, Nan, Phillis and Dulce determine to work for their living and open a dressmaking establishment even if this means that they have to get on their hands and knees and measure the grotesque proportions of the local butcher’s wife. “When gentlepeople are poor they must work for their bread; when one has ten clever fingers, it is better to use them than to starve.” And so from a comfortable life they must descend to a working life. From the oppressor class they move to that of the oppressed, if Miss Nouchette Carey was following her Marx and Engels closely, and they must compete with other workers to earn a living wage. Consternation – nice people working for their living pass the sal volatile! – admirers and success follow in their wake along with a few surprises. Altogether intriguing, I’m glad they weren’t like other girls.
1 vote Sarahursula | Sep 3, 2010 |
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Five-o'cock tea was a great institution in Oldfield.
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