This important new work is a study of the everyday lives of the inhabitants of São Paulo in the nineteenth century. Full of vivid detail, the book concentrates on the lives of working women--black, white, Indian, mulatta, free, freed, and slaves, and their struggles to survive. Drawing on official statistics, and on the accounts of travelers and judicial records, the author paints a lively picture of the jobs, both legal and illegal, that were performed by women. Her research leads to some surprising discoveries, including the fact that many women were the main providers for their families and that their work was crucial to the running of several urban industries. This book, which is a unique record of women’s lives across social and race strata in a multicultural society, should be of interest to students and researchers in women’s studies, urban studies, historians, geographers, economists, sociologists, and anthropologists.