Description - Public Lives by Eleanor Gordon
This volume challenges many stereotypes about Victorian women and their families and offers insights into middle-class life in Britain from 1840 through the early years of the 20th century. Eleanor Gordon and Gwyneth Nair examine women's relationships, their marriages, the ways they earned and spent their money, and their social, spiritual, and civic lives. What emerges from this fascinating research is a revised - and far richer - view of middle class women's experiences in the Victorian era than has been understood before. The authors argue that widely accepted characterizations of the Victorian family as a private enclave in which women's roles related only to service and dependency are narrow and inaccurate. In fact, as arbiters of taste, managers of display, and consumers of culture, women were central to the creation of middle-class identity and culture. Gordon and Nair explore men's and women's personal diaries, correspondence, inventories, wills, census reports, and other documents from Victorian Glasgow, the second most important British city of the period.
Their findings illuminate the everyday lives of single and widowed as well as married women, and they reveal for the first time the complexity of roles that Victorian women of the middle classes assumed in domestic, economic, and public spheres.
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(234mm x 155mm x 25mm)
Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
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Book Reviews - Public Lives by Eleanor Gordon
Author Biography - Eleanor Gordon
Eleanor Gordon is senior lecturer in the department of economics and social history at the University of Glasgow. Gwyneth Nair is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Paisley.