Through her own angry words stitched into the sampler Lorina tells us about her family, neighbours and life.
Lorina clearly wanted her words to be read and for her story to be told. This is probably due to the difficult situation that she found herself in, and her belief that she had been terribly wronged. Lorina was resident in the Great Yarmouth workhouse lunatic ward when she made these samplers in the form of embroidered letters.
Much of Lorina’s text can be described as ‘thought-disturbed’ and it is sometimes hard to follow what she is trying to tell the reader. We do not know why she was described as a lunatic. Through these embroidered letters Lorina tells us the story of her life and her family, including poignantly, the anger she feels in being incarcerated and labelled as a lunatic.
The fabrics used are a mixture of dress and upholstery fabrics of varying quality changing the colour of her embroidery to make sure it can be read against the background fabric. With almost every word underlined and every word in capitals, the intention to communicate is very clear. The piece is 350cm by 340 cm in size.
I MISS LORINA BULWER WONDER THE PEOPLE HAVE NOT THROWN ALL THE SLOPS OF THIS NOTORIOUS BUG LICE AND FLEA TRIBE CAMBRIDGESHIRE SOCIALIST DEN AND PELTED HIM WITH ROTTEN EGGS AS HIS SOCIALIST ANN OLD FAGGOT WIFE DIED AND WENT TO HELL BLESSED MOTHER ANCY NANCY TICKLES MY FANCY DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN TO LIVE IN PERPETUAL BLISS WITH THE LORD