Think of some well-known girls who worked in the 19th or early 20th centuries in Sussex. I wager you are thinking like Catherine Cookson, or Virginia Woolf. Is it possible to name? The white woman who led a protest march of 20 000 Africans that are black? The heiress who gave GBP12m away? The rally driver who conquer on Stirling Moss? Believed not.
There were girls working in the majority of walks of life. Working class girls did whatever they could to raise the funds and were paid scandalously for his or her attempts. Mid and upper class girls were involved in a much broader array of professions but it had been not ‘fine’ for payment to be accepted by them and they seldom got the credit or respect a guy doing the exact same work might have anticipated.
We often forget just what a long way girls came in a quick while. Although there are a significant few well-known women whose actions date from before the 20th century, there are much more who were the ‘movers and shakers’ of their time and happen to be forgotten.
That is not the initial novel Helena Wojtczak has written on this particular area and she says that, when she was studying her previous novels (‘Women of Victorian Sussex’ – a social history, and ‘Railway Girls’) it hit her that town monuments and records offices all had their lists of local worthies shown proudly, which there were remarkably few girls on those lists. This realisation was, at least for ‘Famous Sussex Women’. By recording details of a few of the lost girls and unearthing, and giving them a well-deserved place amongst the more well-known names of the age, Helena Wojtczak has gone a great way .
At the same time as 580 biographical sketches, there are a few fantastic pictures in this publication. This is a rewarding book to possess as a coffee-table book for Sunday browsing in addition to truly being a nominee for local historians’ reference ledges. But for me what causes it to be irresistible is the number of poems, quotations and polemics by girls from the past two centuries who had a fair deal to say about it and understood a girl’s place. Here are a few choice ones…
The philosophers seem to realize that hard work never unsexes a girl: wages that are only may do that – Mrs Swisshelm
Anonymous was a girl. – Virginia Woolf
A clean wall of professional and social antagonism confronts the girl doctor that forms a scenario of solitude that is striking and debilitating, leaving her without admiration, support or professional counsel. – Dr Elizabeth Blackwell.
And, in case you’re not just too old to be aware of the things they have been fretting around, here are a few quotations from some known male-kind folks:
When a lady becomes a scholar there’s generally something wrong with her sexual organs. – Nietzche
I consider that girls who are attorneys, writers, and politicians are monsters. – Renoir
You bring your girls up like they were meant for the whine of the frivolity and sideboard decorations – Ruskin And, to sum up:
I believe, therefore I’m single. – Lizz Winstead