Flower Sellers - I'm a good girl I am

>>  Friday, July 08, 2016

I  watched the growth of Trumptonshire on twitter, some of the accounts are questionable and seem to be people playing out racist views in the poor guise of humour but some parts of it are very funny and I wonder at the time and imagination that people have to give to it.  The one that caught my eye was @Trumpton_SWOP mainly for it's profile.

"Fighting for the rights of sex workers in Chigley, Trumpton and Camberwick Green. #SexWorkisWork Accepts payments in biscuits.  Near the bandstand usually"

What I did find out was that some Victorian flower sellers supplemented their income with work 'after hours'.

There is a really interesting write up about
The Flowergirls of 1851 at Spitalfieldslife.com, I really recommend you read it.

I'm going to give you a short piece from there:

  "Of flowergirls there are two classes. Some girls, and they are certainly the smaller class of the two, avail themselves of the sale of flowers in the streets for immoral purposes, or rather, they seek to eke out the small gains of their trade by such practices. Their ages are from fourteen to nineteen or twenty, and sometimes they remain out offering their flowers until late at night.
The other class of flowergirls is composed of girls who, wholly or partially, depend upon the sale of flowers for their own support or as an assistance for their parents. They are generally very persevering, more especially the younger children, who will run along barefooted, with their,“Please, gentleman, do buy my flowers. Poor little girl!” or “Please kind lady, buy my violets. O, do! please! Poor little girl! Do buy a bunch, please, kind lady!”"
Please go and have a read on it, it is actually a very interesting site.

I hadn't ever completely twigged why Eliza Doolittle repeated 'I'm a good girl I am' but now I understand.

I also wondered if the old adage "what have you been up to then?" when a husband comes home with a bunch of flowers had its root more deep seated than I realised!


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