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Cousin Edith

Meet Cousin Edith
Edith makes a friend
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Edith makes a friend
Hyde Vale
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Edith is good at sewing. She mends clothes for other families in the street. She makes clothes for children. She sews them all by hand. Her neighbours pay her for mending and making clothes. Edith saves every penny.

Every time she goes past the draper’s shop in London Street, Edith stops in front of the window. She looks at the material inside the shop. When she has saved enough money, Edith buys some grey silk. She makes herself a grey silk suit. When she puts it on, she looks grown up.

Next, Edith buys a large piece of white card. She cuts it into small square pieces. She writes her name on each card, in best writing. Underneath her name, she writes ‘Dressmaking, Alterations, and Repairs.’ She paints the edges of each card with gold paint.

Bib
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Then Edith puts on her new suit. She walks along Little Thames Street and turns right into Cross Street. At the end of Cross Street, she crosses Bridge Street, and walks down Lamming Lane. She walks round the churchyard into London Street. She does not stop to look in the shop windows.

She walks along Royal Hill, and into Hyde Vale. The houses in this street are bigger than the Roses' house. The families here are richer. At each house, Edith goes to the small door at the side or in the basement. This is the door for working people and servants. She knocks on the door and gives one of her business cards to the person who answers the door. ‘Can I mend or sew for you today?’ she asks. At every house the answer is ‘Not today, thank you,’ until she gets to a big house at the top of the hill.

Wage increase
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A housemaid opens the door. She looks at Edith, and looks at her business card. She asks Edith to come in. She takes Edith to a small room at the top of the house. She shows Edith a pile of clothes to mend. Edith sits by the window and sews for a long time. She sews on buttons. She darns holes in socks. She sews up hems. She mends a tear in some trousers. She mends the lace on a baby's best dress. Edith can hear children's voices coming from downstairs. She can hear a lot of children in the house.

The housemaid is friendly towards Edith. She brings her some tea.

‘Where did you learn to sew so well?’ she asks Edith.

‘At home, in the country,’ says Edith.

‘I grew up in the country too,’ says the housemaid, ‘at Lee, in Kent. My name is Emma Glover, and I am 19.’

‘Do you like working here?’ asks Edith.

‘I like the family. They have five children. The oldest is eight. The youngest is just one month old. So there is always a lot of mending and sewing in this house. If you come here at the same time next week, there will be more work for you.’

‘Thank you,’ says Edith. She has worked for four hours, and earned a shilling. She is saving to buy a sewing machine.

 

 
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Meet Cousin Edith
Edith makes a friend
Play a preposition game
Meet more family members

Glossary

Glossary

Grammar glossary what words do

Grammar glossary: what words do


 
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