Covent Garden Flower Women

Street Life in London

Covent Garden Flower Women


John Thomson

(Scottish, 1837-1921)


Image: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Paper: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Mounted: 27.1 x 20.8 cm (10 11/16 x 8 3/16 in.)

Photography Discretionary Fund 2019.49


Did you know?

These are the real-life counterparts of Eliza Doolittle in the musical My Fair Lady, who started out selling flowers in Covent Garden.


Thomson’s collaborator, reporter Adolphe Smith said that “The familiar sight of a poor woman holding a pale child in her arms and offering modest violets to the pedestrian, is pregnant with a poetry which rags, and dirt fail to obliterate.” The jobs, which were passed down between generations, required worked long hours and yielded a meager income.

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