A Victorian Woman's Place: Public Culture in the Nineteeth by Simon Morgan

By Simon Morgan

Whereas clone of bourgeois Victorian ladies as 'angels in the home' remoted from the area in deepest domesticity has lengthy been brushed aside as an unrealistic perfect, girls have remained marginalised in lots of fresh money owed of the general public tradition of the center category. Simon Morgan goals to redress the stability, by means of drawing on quite a few resources together with deepest records he argues that ladies really performed a major function within the formation of the general public identification of the Victorian heart type. via their aid for cultural and philanthropic institutions and their engagement in political campaigns, girls built a nascent civic identification, which for a few proficient their later calls for for political rights. heart classification girls and Victorian Public tradition bargains a number of insights for the reader into the general public lives of girls during this attention-grabbing interval.

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Finally, who were to be the main beneficiaries of female education: the family; the nation; or even women themselves through the acquisition of moral autonomy and mental resourcefulness? These debates centred around the assumption that women occupied an important and influential place in society, with reformers arguing that this influence was perverted or devalued by the state of intellectual ignorance in which women were kept. Significantly, the first chapter of Hannah More’s Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education was entitled ‘Address to women of rank and fortune, on the effects of their influence on society’, in which More claimed: ‘The general state of civilized society depends ...

35 However, the conflict reached its height in disputes over control of local government institutions, particularly the vestry. 36 The vestry was the one institution of local government that could accurately be described as democratic, with elections being open to all ratepayers, including women. This meant that victory in church wardens’ elections would inevitably strengthen demands for democratic reform in other areas of administration. Moreover, the office of church warden carried with it a high degree of status.

Is one which every man may study to advantage. ’78 The perfect middle-class citizen was therefore a man of business and thus distinguished from the leisured aristocrat, who lacked such a training ground in which to develop the virtues of ‘energy, prudence and integrity’. 79 He was also civilized, able to enrich the society in which he moved and to fulfil the offices of husband and father, so providing the perfect example to another generation of active citizens. Finally, he was, implicitly but emphatically, a man.

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