A rich and fascinating account of the lives of Victorian governesses, exploring nineteenth-century attitudes to women, family and class.If a nineteenth century lady had neither a husband to support her nor money of her own, almost her only recourse was to live in someone else's household and educate their children - in particular, their daughters. Marooned within the confines of other people's lives, neither servants nor family members, governesses occupied an uncomfortable social limbo. And being poor and insignificant, their papers were mostly lost. But a few journals and letters have come down to us, giving a vivid record of what it was to be a lone professional woman at a time when such a creature officially did not exist.
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Ruth Brandon has written several history books, including, among others, THE SPIRITUALISTS, THE DOLLAR PRINCESSES and THE NEW WOMEN AND THE OLD MEN, as well as biographies of Houdini and the chef Alexis Soyer. She graduated from Girton College, Cambridge, and lives in London.Review:
Brandon explains why many a romantic novel and intellectual debate was inspired by such women. * BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH * Ruth Brandon's fine account deals with the governess in literature and in life. * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH *
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