The diary of Edith Lorrimer, England 1871 I was shown the laundry - a vast noisy sunless room full of steam and the sharp smell of soapsuds. I counted seven women slaving over the large tubs where the clothes are washed, their reddened faces shiny with sweat even in this weather...Condensation ran down the windows and pooled on the floor. Heavy wooden racks are pulled up and down from the high ceiling and the sheets and clothes are draped over them and hoisted up to the ceiling from where they drip on the unfortunates toiling beneath. No doubt Rosie takes her turn in here. Just to think of it filled my eyes with tears. What a terrible existence. Edith Lorrimer is the sheltered daughter of a wealthy widow who is on the Board of Governors at a workhouse for the destitute. Whilst visiting the workhouse, Edith meets with Rosie Chubb, a troubled orphan who is a liar, quick-tempered and always in trouble...
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