|GR: Intro--devotion to idle graces
Written by Barbara
(10/19/2003 12:22 p.m.)
I was interested in the Introduction, where Vickery is discusses how Englishwomen supposedly descened into "indolence and luxury" once the small-scale manufacture/production of various crafts (textiles, furniture, etc.) left the home and the workplace became a separate place.
She writes how the ladies of the Resortation era were supposed to be distinguished only by their "devotion to idle graces" and lived lives of "frivolousness and futility" and how, by the era this book concerns, "separate spheres" developed, which entirely separated the everyday worlds of men and women.
...privileged women abandoned all enterprise, estate management and productive housekeeping to their servants in order to devote themselves to deocrative display.
My sense is that Vickery is arguing against these points, and saying this was not how things really were for many women of this class---or am I misinterpreting?
Nevertheless, various Austen characters and situations popped into my mind as I read this:
I'm sure there are numerous other examples, but I thought it interesting that even in JA's novels, womens' usefulness is discussed--and the lack of it is looked upon as undesirable.
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