Posted by MB on February 04, 1998 at 12:44:54:
In response to What would you do?, written by Helen on February 04, 1998 at 07:10:08
Hi Helen, what's up? ;-)
Well, it's so hard to answer these kinds of questions. How can we know what we would have been like had wew lived in the early 1800's? It's nearly impossible to answer this without bringing in our 1990's sensibilities and "insights". But I'll answer anyway...;-)
I can put up with quite a bit of verbal abuse and mental torture (I do work with the public, after all!), but I still don't think I would have made it as a servant. Governess, maybe. Their lives were far from ideal, but they seemed to occupy a position of more authority than, say, housemaids. But, again, that would depend on the family for whom I was working!
The conditions in factories, from all I've heard, were pretty apalling and I'm sure the workers' life spans were shortened considerably, not to mention the threat of injury. Plus, urban girl that I am, I don't think I could have stood the long hours in the oppressive conditions of London or Manchester.
So, that leaves agriculture. There seemed to be at least the appearance of more freedom. The work was hard, but at least you were breathing fresh country air and working around beautiful scenery, and the climate of England is relatively temperate.
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