excerpt from 'Memoirs of Henrietta Burkin' pp. 2-3 (180 words)

excerpt from 'Memoirs of Henrietta Burkin' pp. 2-3 (180 words)

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Memoirs of Henrietta Burkin

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[The author begins her memoir: ‘This was to have been an account of my early youth, in the East End of London, but I think I had better commence with my Mother’s early life as told to me’. Her mother was born in 1868, in the East End of London, the ninth daughter of eleven children. She died 10 November, late 1920s. The names of the author's mother and uncles are not given in the memoir]. 


Mother was very fond of music, although on Sundays, Grandfather would only allow hymns to be sung, not even whistling was allowed. She bought a banjo, and shut herself in her bedroom to practice, but her Brothers used to stand outside catawauling. A young man opened a piano shop in Commercial Road, Stepney, his first venture into business, and Mother was his first customer. It was a lovely rosewood piano, with candle holders on either side; she paid monthly instalments, and as she never missed a payment, he returned the last instalment. She now had lessons, and could really play quite well. 

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