This picture epitomises one of the most characteristic themes of mid-Victorian life, and is thus ideally suited to the Geffrye Museum with its emphasis on social history.

As Jeffery Daniels, the Museum's Director, has observed, the suggestion that the young woman is a governess 'seems eminently plausible, for while she is clearly not a servant, neither does she appear to be a member of the immediate family - unless of course she is that archetypal Victorian embarrassment, a poor relation. However, she looks both confident and thoroughly at home, being permitted plants, pets and prints.'

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