The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England

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What was the life of an eighteenth-century British genteel woman like? This lively book, based on letters, diaries, and account books of over one hundred middle class women, transforms our understanding of the position of women in Georgian England. These women were not confined in their homes but enjoyed expanding horizons and an array of emerging public arenas, the author shows.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This meticulously researched social history should be welcomed by specialists in British and European women's history. Vickery (British women's history, Univ. of London) challenges the standard argument that once the industrial revolution took production out of the home, women's lives were marginalized in the domestic sphere. Using the letters, diaries, and account books of more than 100 women from the "genteel" classes, she theorizes that women's activities actually expanded as they involved themselves in new areas of community life. Indeed, she concludes that the struggles of the Victorian suffragettes may have stemmed not from a sense of oppression but from a desire to expand the gains of their Georgian predecessors. Unfortunately, Vickery's insistence on proving her provocative thesis overwhelms the richness of the descriptive material she presents: there is good information here on household management, servants, material culture, shopping and consumption, and female attitudes on courtship, pregnancy, motherhood, and child rearing. Recommended for academic libraries.--Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., Livingston, NJ
Claire Tomalin
A gold mine in the realm of women's history. -- Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300102222
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2003
  • Series: Yale Nota Bene Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 436
  • Sales rank: 1,236,982
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on the Text
Introduction 1
1 Gentility 13
2 Love and Duty 39
3 Fortitude and Resignation 87
4 Prudent Economy 127
5 Elegance 161
6 Civility and Vulgarity 195
7 Propriety 225
Conclusion 285
Abbreviations 295
Notes to the Text 296
App. 1 Research Design and Sources 352
App. 2 Biographical Index 354
App. 3 Members of the Parker Family 383
App. 4 The Social Networks Database 385
App. 5 Elizabeth Shackleton's Servant Information Network, 1770-1781 387
App. 6 Purchasers of Parker Rabies Medicine, 1767-1777 390
Tables 394
Select Bibliography 397
List of Plates and Acknowledgements 415
Index 418
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