Barbara Artson is a retired psychoanalyst who calls San Francisco her home. She regularly contributes essays and reviews of films and books to professional journals. In addition to a Ph.D. in psychology she holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature, and taught Shakespeare as a graduate student while also completing the unfinished Dickens novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, years before the musical production on Broadway.
Like Dora in the novel, Artson’s own mother worked in a New York garment factory, stitching elastic to the waistbands of women’s bloomers. This photo of her was taken in the early 1920s when she was 19. By the end of that decade she was raising her own family, building a new life in America.