More on Women...
Posted by Lesley on December 18, 1997 at 00:01:51:
In response to Sounds very interesting, written by ElaineL on December 17, 1997 at 09:15:01
Elaine, most of the gentry provided an education as it related to their girls' future duties, i.e. housekeeping. Of course, the grander the family, the less one had to do oneself but one was expected to be able to supervise the household staff. Eventhough Elizabeth made a brilliant marriage socially, she would have had to confer with Mrs. Reynolds the housekeepers about menus, guest accomodations, etc. If a married lady had no housekeeper, she would have supervised the cook and the housemaids and intructed them, to certain degree in the way she would like things done.
In addition to this, accomplishments were taught to young ladies in order to display them at gatherings in order to attract a suitable young man. These included singing, playing the pianoforte, dancing,and drawing. All young ladies were expected to have created a sampler of embroidery by the time their education ended and they "came out." Remember, Mrs. Goddards parlor was hung with examples of her student's fancy work? I wish I could tell you which book all of this came out of but I can't remember specific books. (I am getting sleepy! ;-) I am steadily working my way through the bibliography on this board, if that helps.
Of course, a girl's education really depended on the attitude of her mother and father. The Bennett sisters were taught at home with no governess whereas Emma had one. Jane Austen herself was sent to a boarding school with her sister Cassandra.
One last thing, which I find amusing in a sad sort of way. I believe this comes from the memoirs of Mabel, Countess of Airlie, who was a Lady in Waiting to Queen Mary (The present queen's grandmother). In it, she relates a story of a young man, who after his marriage, actually engages a governess for his new wife as she was so very uneducated!!!!
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