Margaret Harkness

Ellen Ross

in Slum Travelers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249059
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940055 | DOI:
Margaret Harkness

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This chapter discusses Margaret Harkness, who was born into a family of clergymen. She attended Stirling House, a finishing school where she met her fellow pupil and second cousin Beatrice Potter. In 1877, after refusing to marry, she went to London to begin nurse's training, however, was unhappy with her health-care job. By the turn of the 1880s, she found her vocation. She began writing and published her first article entitled “Women as Civil Servants”. She became a prolific and energetic writer, writing novels as well as articles. She also became aware of working-class London life and labor through her travels, journalistic researches, residence in poor districts, and her involvement with the London Dock Strike in 1889. She was politically sympathetic to labor and socialism and was a member of the Social Democratic Federation but became sympathetic towards the Salvation Army because of her sympathy for what she called “slummers”. This chapter focuses on Harkness's Barmaids, which focuses on female labor in the metropolis. It particularly focuses on sexualized women's jobs in London.

Keywords: Margaret Harkness; working-class London; labor; London Dock Strike; Salvation Army; Barmaids; female labor

Chapter.  3611 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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