Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

[Note 128.1] Although she accuses the steam loom weaver of being flashie, the heroine is unabashed by her pregnancy. Francoise Barret-Ducrocq [i] says that sex before marriage was generally acceptable among the labouring poor during the early 19th century and estimates that during the late 18th century more than 40% of children were conceived outside wedlock.

Reference: Barret-Ducrocq, Francoise (Trans. John Howe) Love in the Time of Victoria: Sexuality and Desire Among Working-Class Men and Women in Nineteenth-Century London (Penguin Books, 1992) p97

[Note 128.2] The heroine's expectation that she can appeal to authority to demand support from the father of her child suggests that the song pre-dates the Poor Law reform of 1834 which removed the right of women to prosecute the father and get support from him [i] although that expectation may have lingered in the pubic mind for a few years after the reform.

[i] Barret-Ducrocq, Francoise (Trans. John Howe) Love in the Time of Victoria: Sexuality and Desire Among Working-Class Men and Women in Nineteenth-Century London (1991, Verso)

[Note 128.3]  Francoise Barret-Ducrocq says that "the use of wet nurses and baby minders was common practice among people" (i.e. women) "who had to carry on working"  

Reference: Barret-Ducrocq, Francoise (Trans. John Howe) Love in the Time of Victoria: Sexuality and Desire Among Working-Class Men and Women in Nineteenth-Century London (Penguin Books, 1992) p135

[Note 128.4] Poor relief was assistance was in the form of money, food, clothing or goods, given to alleviate poverty. The phrase "She'll be out when the clubman calls" implies she is living at home and thus in receipt of 'outdoor' relief i.e relief given without the requirement that the recipient enter an institution. It was subject to a means test.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_relief

 

 

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.