In praise of washerwomen

Lillie Langtry. Wikimedia Commons.

Lillie Langtry (nee Emille Charlotte Breton, 1853-1929) was considered one of the stunning beauties of her time. An actress, she attracted the attention of Britain’s King Edward VII and became his mistress. But on a visit to Toronto, she failed to impress the editor of The Week magazine, who professed a greater attraction to hard-working washerwomen. From The Week, April 12, 1895.

Mrs. Langtry’s portrait as plastered around the city on walls and boards seems to be an admirable presentation of the characteristics of that much talked of woman. But I have seen many washerwomen whose faces were far pleasanter to the discerning eye. Why don’t we plaster drawings of these on our vacant spaces? I stand up for the good old, hard-working washerwoman.

Unfamiliar Canadian history stories 082

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