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"In Consuming Fantasies: Labor, Leisure, and the London Shopgirl, 1880-1920, Lise Shapiro Sanders examines the cultural significance of the shopgirl - both historical figure and fictional heroine - from the end of Queen Victoria's reign through the First World War. As the author reveals, the shopgirl embodied the fantasies associated with a growing consumer culture: romantic adventure, upward mobility, and the acquisition of material goods. Reading novels such as George Gissing's The Odd Women and W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage as well as short stories, musical comedies, and films, Sanders argues that the London shopgirl appeared in the midst of controversies over sexual morality and the pleasures and dangers of London itself. Sanders explores the shopgirl's centrality to modern conceptions of fantasy, desire, and everyday life for working women and argues for her as a key figure in cultural and social histories of the period. This study will appeal to scholars, students, and enthusiasts of Victorian and Edwardian life and literature."--BOOK JACKET.