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Shopgirls The True Story of Life Behind the Counter by Dr. Pamela Cox, Annabel Hobley
  

Shopgirls The True Story of Life Behind the Counter

History   

Sue Baker's view...

From Victorian times down to the present day, a history of the women who have worked in the growing retail trade. Individual stories are laced into the narrative giving us a picture of the conditions the women faced from having to live in, long hours, and low pay and health problems from standing. A recognition of this undervalued and underrated profession.

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Synopsis

Shopgirls The True Story of Life Behind the Counter by Dr. Pamela Cox, Annabel Hobley

From the Victorian age through to the present day, an unsung army of women workers has been at the heart of Britain's retail revolution. For the first time, Shopgirls tells the story of the women who have served behind our counters, playing a vital and often ground-breaking part in our shared social history. We meet Selfridges' 'businesswomen', fighting for their good name, and arsonist suffragette Gladys Evans, jailed for standing up for her beliefs; join Margaret Bondfield as she goes undercover, fiercely championing the rights of early shopgirls; and stand alongside the impoverished interwar chain store assistants who stole stockings to supplement their meagre wages. We encounter young apprentices, the first generation of female graduate trainees and 1940s working mums. We follow Chili Bouchier's journey from the small ladies' department at Harrods to star of the silver screen; uncover the raw courage of John Lewis' Miss Austin during the Blitz in the West End; and celebrate the art school entrepreneurs who kick-started the boutique movement of the swinging '60s. As this lively book reveals, the story of British shopgirls is one woven deep into the fabric of our history and changes the way we understand our society. You will never shop in the same way again.

Reviews

Packed with riveting detail, a more absorbing collection of tales from the spirited shopgirls of the Victorian era to the present day would be hard to find. * Daily Mail * Rich in surprising insight and human detail . . . endless[ly] fascinating . . highly readable -- Lucy Lethbridge * Observer * Fascinating and addictive... A profusion of lively material includes the Wodehousian yarn of future Hollywood star Chilli Bouchier. * Independent * [Go] behind the glamorous shop fronts and the glitzy shop floors of Britain's department stores . . . Here the hidden history of the unsung heroines of the retail trade is revealed. * Saga Magazine * As packed with good things as the Peter Jones sale * Daily Telegraph *


About the Author

Pamela Cox is a social historian at the University of Essex. She has presented two major history series for BBC TWO - 'Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter' (2014) and 'Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs' (2012), both produced by Annabel Hobley. Her previous books include Bad Girls (2012) and Becoming Delinquent (2002). Annabel Hobley is a television producer and writer. Her credits for the BBC, ITV and More4 include 'Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter', 'Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs', 'McQueen & I', a documentary on fashion icons Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, and 'The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon', about an extraordinary treasure trove of Edwardian films.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th June 2014

Author

Dr. Pamela Cox, Annabel Hobley

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Author's Website

www.essex.ac.uk/sociology/s...
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Publisher

Hutchinson an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback
320 pages

Categories

Social & cultural history

21st century history: from c 2000 -

ISBN

9780091954468

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