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A Girl of the People   By: (1854-1914)

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A Girl of the People by L. T. Meade is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that sheds light on the struggles and triumphs of the working class in late 19th century London. The story revolves around the life of Mary Hammond, a young woman who forges her own path amidst the societal expectations and limited opportunities for women of her time.

Meade's writing style captivates readers from the very first page, drawing them into the grim reality of industrialized London. Through vivid descriptions and immersive storytelling, the author paints a vivid picture of the stark contrasts between the opulence of the upper class and the harsh living conditions of the working class. This stark contrast serves as a constant reminder of the inequality and social injustices prevalent during this era.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its well-developed characters. Mary, in particular, emerges as a multi-dimensional and relatable protagonist. Her determination, resilience, and unwavering spirit make her a truly inspiring character. As readers follow her journey, they can't help but root for her as she defies societal expectations, breaks free from the limitations imposed on her, and fights for a better future not only for herself but also for her community.

The exploration of gender dynamics and the suffragette movement of the time is another compelling aspect of the novel. Meade successfully intertwines Mary's personal struggles with the broader social issues of women's rights, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by women striving for equality in a male-dominated society.

The pacing of the narrative is well-balanced, keeping readers engaged throughout the book. Meade masterfully weaves together various subplots, adding layers of complexity and intrigue. The plot twists and turns, taking unexpected directions that keep readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating what will happen next.

While the book beautifully illustrates the social and political landscape of the time, it occasionally falls into the realm of melodrama, with certain plot developments feeling rather contrived and predictable. However, these moments are few and far between, and do not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the story.

In conclusion, A Girl of the People is an enthralling historical novel that transports readers to a bygone era, exploring themes of social inequality, women's rights, and personal empowerment. L. T. Meade's masterful storytelling and well-drawn characters make this novel a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the struggles and triumphs of the working class during the late Victorian era.

First Page:





"You have kept us waiting an age! Come along, Bet, do."

"She ain't going to funk it, surely!"

"No, no, not she, she's a good 'un, Bet is, come along, Bet. Joe Wilkins is waiting for us round the corner, and he says Sam is to be there, and Jimmy, and Hester Wright: do come along, now."

"Will Hester Wright sing?" suddenly demanded the girl who was being assailed by all these remarks.

"Yes, tip top, a new song from one of the music halls in London. Now then, be you coming or not, Bet?"

"No, no, she's funking it," suddenly called out a dancing little sprite of a newspaper girl. She came up close to Bet as she spoke, and shook a dirty hand in her face, and gazed up at her with two mirthful, teasing, wicked black eyes. "Bet's funking it, she's a mammy's girl, she's tied to her mammy's apron strings, he he he!"

The other girls all joined in the laugh; and Bet, who was standing stolid and straight in the centre of the group, first flushed angrily, then turned pale and bit her lips.

"I ain't funking," she said; "nobody can ever say as there's any funk about me, there's my share. Good night."

She tossed a shilling on to the pavement, and before the astonished girls could intercept her, turned on her heel and marched away... Continue reading book >>

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