|GR - more from the intro
Written by LaurieC
(10/19/2003 1:08 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Intro--devotion to idle graces, penned by Barbara
A quick question -- I see in the introduction the phrase "separate spheres" is in quotes, but I can't trace the source of the term. Vickery also has a book with that in the title. Does anyone know where "separate spheres" comes from?
] ...privileged women abandoned all enterprise, estate management and productive housekeeping to their servants in order to devote themselves to deocrative display.
I was taken by the use of the word "ornament" in reference to such women, especially since this term is mentioned in conjunction with landscaping in JA's novels. When Lady Bertram moves from London to Mansfield Park, the only regular employment she has (writing detailed letters) dwindles to nothing, and she becomes ornamental. Although her example is rather over-the-top, was this one of the roles acceptable to women of her status?
] 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?
I understand the confusion, because Vickery discusses "the redundant woman...languishing on her sofa, may not have been as novel a creature as the indictments suggest," and then refers to Olwen Hufton's "dubious assumption of a lost egalitarian Eden..." However, I am not sure we'll meet many of the indolent sorts in the upcoming chapters.
] 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.
Exactly. Did male novelists of the time praise women's usefulness? I'm reading the Gentleman's Magazine quote about women who order men to get coffee instead of serving them as they should (horrors!), so am just wondering about points of view...
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