A City Girl, Paperback Book

Description

In April 1888, Friedrich Engels wrote a letter to the English novelist and journalist Margaret Harkness, expressing his appreciation for her first novel, A City Girl: A Realistic Story, and calling it "a small work of art." A City Girl was one of many slum novels set in the East End of London in the 1880s.

It tells the story of a young East Ender, Nelly Ambrose, who is seduced and abandoned by a middle-class politician. After the birth of her child and betrayal by her family, Nelly is rescued by two outside forces: the Salvation Army and a sympathetic local man, George, who marries her despite her "fallen" status.

While Nelly's relative passivity and social ignorance distinguishes her from contemporary New Woman heroines, Harkness's sympathy for Nelly's position and refusal to judge her morally make A City Girl a fascinating and original novel. This Broadview Edition includes contemporary reviews of A City Girl along with historical documents on London's East End, fallen women in late-Victorian fiction, and reform organizations for East End women.

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