The fact that Heather's character is irish actually has some significance. Many irish were educated at hedge schools, and learned to read and write, unlike their english counterparts. Generally hedge school instructors taught for food or clothing pieces, rather than currency, which meant that poor dirt farmers often did learn to read, at least in the english-speaking counties (if she were from the western counties, she'd likely neither speak english, nor know how to read or write, but that's a different matter). But while english children went to work as miners, mill workers, and (by this time period, much less commonly) farm laborers because they couldn't afford schooling, irish children often knew at least the basics of reading and writing. Hedge schools were taught by itinerant teachers, so the hours were not regular and they were usually taught only when a travelling teacher was in the area as part of their circuit, so it often didn't even take them away from heavy labor times on the farms. And since the teacher didn't charge money, until the Famine years just about everyone had the chance to get a minimum amount of schooling.
OOh I love that film. Really atmospheric and evocative. I agree with the OP on some points. The hedge school argument does not convince me, It is highly unlikely that at the height of the famine education would be any sort of priority. It is hard to credit that Mary Kelly would be literate. Especially when it is implied that she left Ireland aged about six.
No matter. It is a great film and possibly my favourite. Abberline is such a complex character and Johnny does a great job. I cry at the end every damn time!
Post by Becky (Elizabeth Barry) on Nov 22, 2017 16:14:21 GMT -5
I've seen this film a fair few times over the years, and of course it isn't going to be historically accurate... it's based off a graphic novel! With that aside though, I am interested in the period, and have done the Jack the Ripper tour in Whitechapel *squee* and also, at the beginning of the month, I visited the Ten Bells where Kelly had supposedly been the night she was murdered