- Oil on canvas
- Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
- 1270 x 1020mm
‘With fingers weary and worn’ is the first line of Thomas Hood’s 1843 poem ‘The Song of the Shirt’, which tells of the harsh conditions faced by many women in the garment industry of Victorian England, who worked day and night for meagre pay. Eastlake’s strongly moral painting portrays the exploitation of the women by visually interpreting Hood’s narrative. With fingers weary and worn, With eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat, in unwomanly rags Plying her needle and thread – Stitch! stitch! stitch! In poverty, hunger, and dirt.