Ralph Barnes Grindrod's <em>Slaves of the Needle</em>: An Electronic Scholarly Edition
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This thesis involves both editorial practice and literary analysis. In order to establish an editorial framework for the electronic scholarly edition of Dr. Ralph Barnes Grindrod's pamphlet <em>Slaves of the Needle</em>, I examine current issues in electronic textual editing. In the electronic scholarly edition, approximately twelve of the pamphlet's thirty-five pages are transcribed and encoded using TEI-based code. The second aspect of my master's thesis concerns the depiction of seamstresses in nineteenth-century British literature. <em>Slaves of the Needle</em> provides a non-fiction counterpart to the fictional seamstresses of mid-nineteenth-century literature. Using <em>Slaves of the Needle</em> as a basis for evaluating the accuracy of mid-nineteenth-century characterizations of seamstresses, I show that authors such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ernest Jones, and Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna were familiar with the working conditions of seamstresses. By conducting a close reading of certain representations of the seamstress in both fiction and non-fiction, I develop a theory of why the depiction of some aspects of the seamstress story are more accurate than others.