By Simon Morgan

Whereas identical to bourgeois Victorian girls as 'angels in the home' remoted from the area in inner most domesticity has lengthy been disregarded as an unrealistic perfect, girls have remained marginalised in lots of contemporary debts of the general public tradition of the center classification. Simon Morgan goals to redress the stability, via drawing on a number of assets together with deepest files he argues that ladies really performed an incredible position within the formation of the general public id of the Victorian center classification. via their aid for cultural and philanthropic institutions and their engagement in political campaigns, ladies constructed a nascent civic identification, which for a few educated their later calls for for political rights. center type girls and Victorian Public tradition bargains a variety of insights for the reader into the general public lives of ladies during this interesting interval.

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Extra resources for A Victorian Woman's Place: Public Culture in the Nineteeth Century (International Library of Historical Studies)

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Nevertheless, even these writers did not deny women an influence on the world outside the household. For most early nineteenth-century reformers, the source of woman’s influence lay in her domestic position. Moreover, for the majority, a woman’s domestic duties as a wife and mother continued to take precedence over all else. On these points at least, there was little to distinguish the views of evangelical conservatives like More from those of radical republicans like Mary Wollstonecraft, although the social and political improvements each desired were diametrically opposed.

Charitable provision was one area where the nascent middle class could combine in recognizing a common duty to the poor and is discussed below. However, it proved more difficult to establish and maintain institutions of a more cultural nature. Between 1769 and 1775, the scientist and Unitarian minister Joseph Priestley had organized an informal discussion group, including the engineer John Smeaton and the surgeon William Hey. 47 On a more prosaic level, lack of interest proved just as insuperable a barrier to success as state interference.

Finally, he was, implicitly but emphatically, a man. To Baines the business of being a good citizen was the exclusive preserve of the male sex, although this is not to say that individual women did not play some part in the story. The one failing that Baines Junior admitted in his father was a lack of religious intensity. In the Baines household it was Edward’s wife, Charlotte, who was the major religious influence. 80 Her influence also manifested itself in the active piety of her son, which may be contrasted with the more worldly definition of ‘citizenship’ personified by her husband.

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