One’s Self-Washed Drawers: Ida John

One’s Self-Washed Drawers: Ida John

Bohemia was never a safe country for women. If they didn’t all die of consumption in a garret, many of them might as well have done. In the 1890s, when the ‘new woman’ sprang, as Max Beerbohm put it, ‘fully armed from Ibsen’s brain’, their cases tended to follow a pattern. Attracted by the idea of freedom from social and sexual convention and the chance to live among artists, even to be artists, they found themselves not in a new world but in a mirror image of the old, with as many constraints and fewer comforts.

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