The Diary of Eva Smith

Breakfast this morning consisted of two eggs, some bacon, a slice of fried bread and a cup of sweet tea. A perfect start to the day. Meredith and I have been thinking of an equal rights parade, and as you are well aware, today is the day. The demonstration was a hoot, but Mr Birling wasn’t in the office to see the commotion we caused. Unfortunately Donald made a list of names to give to Mr Birling tomorrow, so we shall have to explain our problems tomorrow.

September 28th, 1910 Dear Diary,Mr Birling called Meredith and I into his office this morning, on account of the demonstration which we held yesterday afternoon on the factory floor. We tried to explain the rights of the workforce, but he refused to hear us out and promptly fired the both of us. We are now out of work, and I fear tat I may have real trouble finding a job. December 4th, 1910 Dear Diary, This morning I received a letter from Milward’s, the clothing store in the high street, which I applied to the other week. They have decided that I am a suitable candidate for a position on the shop floor.

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The influenza travelling about at the moment had left them short handed, so I sent in a letter of application at just the right time. I just hope I don’t get struck down by a dreadful illness like flu or the cholera (touchwood)… January 24th, 1911 Dear Diary, Today started really well, not very busy on the shop floor this morning and only a couple of customers this afternoon. It was one of the afternoon customers who spoiled the day for me. A regular customer, Sheila Birling came in with her mother looking for a new party outfit.

She picked a couple of outfits, but the first one she chose was a complete disaster. It was so shocking I couldn’t contain my mirth well enough and she saw my grin and was deeply offended. She scowled at me, then went to see Mr Milward, complaining about my “appalling” service. Mr Milward pretty much fired me on the spot, for being “impertinent”, or something of a similar nature. I don’t know what I shall do now, as I was lucky to get that job, so I’ll hunt for another in the morning. I feel another name change is in order, as no doubt Mr Milward will pass my name on to other businesses in the area.

Perhaps a pretty name, like a flower or something… March 6th, 1911 Dear Diary, Life as a working girl is quite simple, and an easy way to make money. It does have its drawbacks though, like being despised by the “ordinary” workforce, and the amount of horrible gentlefolk who come my way is quite disturbing. This evening I nearly ran into some trouble with an Alderman in the town, but was thankfully rescued by a rather dashing young gentleman. We went to the county and had a drink and something to eat, which was wonderful, as I hadn’t eaten well for days.

I fear I may have let slip that I’m rather short of money. I don’t expect he’ll mention it though, we’re meeting again in a couple of night’s time. March 8th, 1911 Dear Diary, I met Gerald this evening, but he insisted on helping me out with a place to stay, and actually gave me money for staying and talking to him, which was nice. The house I’m now staying in is much nicer than the old backroom accommodation I was stuck in before, although it is only temporary due to it belonging to a friend of his who is in Canada for a few months.

I feel something for Gerald, although I am not sure what it could be… September 3rd, 1911 Dear Diary, Gerald finished our relationship this morning. He is leaving on a business trip tomorrow, and felt it would be best to end it this way. I don’t blame him, and he insisted on giving me money as a parting gift. I shall use this and the money I saved during the summer, for I lived very economically then, as well you know, and I will leave Brumley for a little while. I need to get away and be quiet and remember, just to make it last longer…

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