Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London

Written by Elizabeth L. Banks

Elizabeth Banks entered London at the height of the Victorian age.

A young girl from New Jersey, her journalistic writings captured the spirit of England and those who lived there.

Rather than simply observing how the people of London lived from afar she immersed herself in the world of the London poor, working side-by-side with them and speaking to them directly as they worked.

Adventures of an American Girl in London is the fascinating result of her brilliant research into nineteenth century London.

During her time alongside the working classes she becomes a servant, being employed by some extremely tough matrons, then as a crossing sweeper, a flower girl and as a laundry girl.

At the other end of the social scale Banks also posed as an heiress seeking social advancement from established gentlemen in Britain. The received answers to her advertisements demonstrated the grasping nature of some men, clawing after this heiress’s American dollars.

The Specator, at the time of the books release, stated that “Miss Banks is capital reading.”

The Pall Mall Gazzette wrote “Her strange, wild and curious adventures are the common theme of conversation in thousands of English homes.”

Elizabeth Banks was an American journalist, who moved to London in 1892, and became a pioneer in the field of immersion journalism for women. Although she never renounced her American citizenship, she remained in England throughout the last forty years of her life. She died in London in 1938. Adventures of an American Girl in London was originally published under the title Campaigns of Curiosity: Journalistic Adventures of an American Girl in London in 1894.

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