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16th May 2023
High Wages (1930) follows the career of Jane, a lowly assistant in a traditional draper's shop in a small town in Lancashire. She lives in and is poorly treated before leaving to open her own dress shop which, in contrast to Mr Chadwick's over-stuffed windows and haberdasher's drawers, is elegant, simple, and carefully stocked with ready-to-wear garments. We cannot praise this novel too highly for its remarkable mix of page-turning narrative and marvellous social insights and fashion details.
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