Posted by Art on August 14, 1998 at 19:11:18:
In response to On the other hand, written by Amy on August 13, 1998 at 18:09:10
] ] It sounds a bit on the low side,
A couple of points: 40 pounds sounds absurdly low to us, but bear in mind that costs were proportionately so much less, too. Rent (free to both clergy and governesses) and meals (free, too, at least for governesses) are the major part of one's living expenses in any event. But in that union-free society, wages were set by whatever people were required by the labor market to settle for. If there were more than enough governesses to go around, so to speak, they weren't in a position to bargain over wages since an employer could readily find another if she didn't like the pay. Employment opportunities, particularly for women - and particularly for educated women - were virtually non-existent by our standards, and for someone of modest or even invisible means a governess position, with its attendant dignity and status, must surely have been most attractive.
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