Uncultured in Victorian Culture

Beth Seltzer

"And what's your name, miss?"
The sailor is gruff, but he doesn't seem unkind. You tighten your shawl a little around your shoulders.
"My name's Sally Shipyard. I'm going to London to look for work."
He shakes his head, not unkindly. "London isn't all Dickens novels," he says. "It can be rough for a nice girl like you."
"What sort of work are you looking for?"
You may not be rich, but you're educated and a woman of quality. You're going to get a job as a governess.
You may have had a gentle upbringing, but times are hard. You're looking for work in a factory.
You're smart and you work hard. You're going to try to make a career for yourself.
You've, let's say, learned some skills in India. You're going to set yourself up as a mystic.
Really, you're just here to find a husband.