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Arthur Munby


Arthur Munby was the son of a solicitor.  He went to Cambridge and, after failed career as a lawyer, became a civil servant.  He published volumes of poetry in 1865 and 1909, which were well received for their depiction of rural life, and left behind diaries that record his life-long obsession with working-class women, whom he interviewed, photographed, and wrote about.  This obsession led to his relationship with and eventual secret marriage to his maidservant, Hannah Cullwick.  The dairies that resulted from his education and encouragement of her writing survive as a rare record of a Victorian working-class woman.  Taken together, their diaries depict a relationship which reveals the complex interweaving of class, gender, and racial hierarchies in Victorian England.