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Mary Green, Bespoke Tailoress: , in an Industrial NW Textile Town 1880-1920Code:
Distinctive cultures evolved in the industrialised textile centres of northwest England during the course of the nineteenth century. A photograph of a confident stylish young woman engages the viewer with direct almost challenging gaze, suggesting none of the deference usually expected from a well-brought-up young woman. Through the perspective of Mary Green`s response to the by now intensely urbanised environment of an industrial Lancashire town, insight is offered into the defining qualities and possible sources of one such culture or way of life; its roots drawn in this case from an interweaving of craft practice, social position and a deep attachment to non-conformity. Such experiences, a form of qualitative evidence combined with material culture and oral communication to reveal the active contribution of one ordinary individual to the development of a certain mental outlook and way of living. It is witness also to the former vitality of a once strong culture. As attention is drawn to such activity, the lives of the less socially powerful are given historical value and one ordinary individual`s unrecognised actions and attitudes are commemorated.