Hannah Cullwick

Standard Name: Cullwick, Hannah
Birth Name: Hannah Cullwick
Nickname: Mary
Married Name: Hannah Munby
HC wrote seventeen diaries between the years 1854 and 1873, plus numerous letters chronicling in detail her life as a lower servant, as well as her long cross-class courtship and eventual marriage to Arthur Munby . Whether one views her as exceptional or as typical of the one third of women between the ages of fifteen and twenty who were in service at this historical place and time, her writing offers a rare glimpse into the harsh material conditions of maids of all work, as well as the complex cultural intersections of class, gender, race, sexuality, labour, and the body as represented by a working-class woman in later Victorian England.
Cullwick, Hannah. “Introduction and Notes”. The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Victorian Maidservant, edited by Liz Stanley, Rutgers University Press, 1984, pp. 1 - 28, passim.
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Sepia toned photograph of Hannah Cullwick, shown from the waist up. She is slightly turned, with her arms crossed, and gaze into the distance with a slightly challenging expression. She is wearing an oversize suit jacket, a collared shirt and cravat; her hair is cut short.
"Hannah Cullwick" Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Hannah_Cullwick_portrait_in_man.jpg/646px-Hannah_Cullwick_portrait_in_man.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Intertextuality and Influence Augusta Webster
During her tenure she encountered the very best and worst of late Victorian poetry. Her published reviews, which critic Marysa Demoor characterises as expressing a hesitant modernism,
Demoor, Marysa. “Women Poets as Critics in the Athenæum: Ungendered Anonymity Unmasked”. Nineteenth-Century Prose, No. 1, pp. 51 -71.
included appraisals of Robert Bridges ,...
Literary responses Elizabeth Mary Parker
Munby , who had encouraged his secret wife, Hannah Cullwick , to record her experiences of servant life, registered in his diary his delight at the discovery of EMP 's publication: I left his shop...
Textual Features Ellen Johnston
In contrast to the life-writings of her working-class contemporary Hannah Cullwick , EJ 's autobiography is remarkably self-reflexive and literary. She says that an account of her life in Dundee alone, her trials, disappointments, joys...
Textual Production Michelene Wandor
Other radio plays that MW has written about women writers include An Uncommon Love, based on Hannah Cullwick 's relationship with Arthur Munby , A Consoling Blue, about Jean Rhys 's writing of...


10 January 1863
The Metropolitan Railway , the first underground railway in the world, opened; it ran between Bishop's Road(Paddington) and Farringdon Street in London.
October 1864
The Working Women's College opened in Queen Street, London.
By 17 April 1869
R. D. Blackmore published Lorna Doone.
November 1880
Arthur Munby published anonymously Dorothy: A Country Story with Kegan Paul .
Arthur Munby published this year two books reflecting his interest in the working classes—the pseudonymous Vulgar Verses contained some work in dialect, while Faithful Servants collected hundreds of epitaths and obituaries—plus Vestigia Retrorsum, a...
Arthur Munby published a narrative poem called Susan: A Poem of Degrees, a thinly disguised account of his tempestuous secret love for working-class diarist Hannah Cullwick .