Olive Christian Malvery

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:
Olive Christian Malvery

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter focuses on Olive Christian Malvery, who was of mixed European and Indian ancestry. She was raised in India as an Anglican by her maternal grandparents and was well educated. At the turn of the twentieth century, Malvery went to London to attend music school. In 1904, she was hired to do a photojournalism series on London's poor for Pearson's Magazine. Pearson's Magazine was a joint British and American venture that took advantage of the technology of reproducing photographs. One of the notable entries of the magazine was Malvery's article, which was heavily illustrated, mainly with images of Malvery in her street seller disguises posing at different spots accompanied by various associates. Often Malvery posed as a barmaid, a homeless woman, a factory girl, and so on. Some of her accompanying photographs were street scenes while others were studio shots highlighting the author's exotic appearance or outfits. In most of her articles, Malvery tried not to be explicit to avoid offending the sensibilities of the middle-class for which the magazine was intended. Her photos, captions, and written texts do not always fit together. This chapter focuses on Malvery's images and adventures among the working-class and the poor of London.

Keywords: Olive Christian Malvery; Pearson's Magazine; photojournalism; London; working-class; poor

Chapter.  5170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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