The Match Girl And The Heiress
Princeton University Press
On Sale: January 9, 2015
Featuring: Nellie Dowell; Muriel Lester
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List
Non-Fiction Biography | Non-Fiction History
Nellie Dowell was a match factory girl in Victorian London
who spent her early years consigned to orphanages and
hospitals. Muriel Lester, the daughter of a wealthy
shipbuilder, longed to be free of the burden of money and
possessions. Together, these unlikely soulmates sought to
remake the world according to their own utopian vision of
Christ’s teachings. The Match Girl and the Heiress paints
an unforgettable portrait of their late-nineteenth-century
girlhoods of wealth and want, and their daring twentieth-
century experiments in ethical living in a world torn
apart by war, imperialism, and industrial capitalism.
In this captivating book, Seth Koven chronicles how each
traveled the globe—Nellie as a spinster proletarian
laborer, Muriel as a well-heeled tourist and revered
Christian peacemaker, anticolonial activist, and
humanitarian. Koven vividly describes how their lives
crossed in the slums of East London, where they
inaugurated a grassroots revolution that took the Sermon
on the Mount as a guide to achieving economic and social
justice for the dispossessed. Koven shows how they devoted
themselves to Kingsley Hall—Gandhi’s London home in 1931
and Britain’s first “people’s house” founded on the
Christian principles of social sharing, pacifism, and
reconciliation—and sheds light on the intimacies and
inequalities of their loving yet complicated relationship.
The Match Girl and the Heiress probes the inner lives of
these two extraordinary women against the panoramic
backdrop of shop-floor labor politics, global capitalism,
counterculture spirituality, and pacifist feminism to
expose the wounds of poverty and neglect that Christian
love could never heal.
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!