Patricia Branca (essay date 1975)
SOURCE: Branca, Patricia. “Do's and Don'ts for the Mistress of the House.” In Silent Sisterhood: Middle-Class Women in the Victorian Home, pp. 22-37. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1975.
[In the following essay, Branca discusses English Victorian conduct books, suggesting that they were critical in tone; they implied that women were impractical and under-skilled due to their overly “ornamental” education and they denigrated the social aspirations of middle-class women.]
As mistress of the house, the middle-class woman gained a new position in society. Her personal influence grew greatly, as overnight she became an important decision-maker in...
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