Mrs Fleming

The Blooms' household servant, "Mrs Fleming," is what used to be called a charwoman or scrubwoman: someone who came into a house once a week to clean up and perform odd chores, as opposed to a "maid" who lived in the house and worked throughout the week. Joyce may have based his character on either of two actual people. Evidence of a real-life model for the "Jack Fleming" mentioned in Lotus Eaters is even more uncertain. He could possibly be a relation of the charwoman, perhaps an estranged husband. Or he could be unrelated: Joyce's father once worked with a man of that name.

John Hunt 2022

Esther Bubley's 1943 photograph of a charwoman sweeping the floor of a bus in the Greyhound garage in Pittsburgh, held in the Library of Congress, Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons.