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The ‘despised trade’ in textiles: H. G. Wells, William Paine, Charles Cavers and the male draper’s life, 1870–1914This essay examines the situation of the male draper in terms of his relationships to textiles and female customers between the 1870s and the outbreak of the First World War. Drawing on accounts of shop work produced by men employed as drapers and drapers’ assistants, the essay highlights the ridicule levelled against men who sold textiles, their work with fabrics and clothing, as well as the service they provided for an almost exclusively female clientele, being widely derided as unsuitable labour for a man. One draper recorded that his was ‘a despised trade’. Through an analysis of three first-hand accounts of the draper’s lot the essay raises questions about social constructions of masculinity in relation to representations of shop work and the handling of fabrics. The essay focuses on H. G. Wells’s descriptions of his teenage years as a draper’s apprentice recorded in his Experiment in Autobiography (1934); William Paine’s political treatise, Shop Slavery and Emancipation (1912), based on the injustices he experienced as a draper’s assistant; and the diary of a Bond Street draper, Charles Cavers, posthumously published as Hades! The Ladies! Being Extracts from the Diary of a Draper (1933).
“Truth is like a vast tree”: Metaphor use in Gandhi’s autobiographical narration.This article focuses on Gandhi’s use of Biblical metaphor in the English translation of his autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” (1940). The aim of the analysis is to show how Gandhi appropriated Christian ideology to his own life story when presenting it to an English-speaking audience. Given that metaphor use is “seldom neutral” (Semino, 2008, p. 32), underlying conceptual mappings can be revealing, particularly when the same conceptual frame is employed systematically across a text or discourse situation. Analysis of the English translation reveals a use of Biblical metaphor in the English translation which may constitute a deliberate appropriation of Christian ideology. This article suggests potential motivations for this appropriation, linking the text’s metaphor use to Gandhi’s desire to reform Hinduism and intention to counter the rising tide of Hindu-Christian conversion that threatened the success of his campaign for Indian political and spiritual independence. Keywords: conceptual metaphor theory, Gandhi, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”