The gentleman's daughter [electronic resource] : women's lives in Georgian England /
Amanda Vickery.
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c1998.
ix, 436 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c1998.
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Whitfield Prize, GBR, 1998 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-09-01:
This meticulously researched social history should be welcomed by specialists in British and European women's history. Vickery (British women's history, Univ. of London) challenges the standard argument that once the industrial revolution took production out of the home, women's lives were marginalized in the domestic sphere. Using the letters, diaries, and account books of more than 100 women from the "genteel" classes, she theorizes that women's activities actually expanded as they involved themselves in new areas of community life. Indeed, she concludes that the struggles of the Victorian suffragettes may have stemmed not from a sense of oppression but from a desire to expand the gains of their Georgian predecessors. Unfortunately, Vickery's insistence on proving her provocative thesis overwhelms the richness of the descriptive material she presents: there is good information here on household management, servants, material culture, shopping and consumption, and female attitudes on courtship, pregnancy, motherhood, and child rearing. Recommended for academic libraries.‘Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., Livingston, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1999-02:
Vickery's lively, hard-hitting book challenges the standard model of women's relegation to a separate, private sphere over the course of the 18th century in England. Vickery contests this notion using diaries and correspondence from northern England, especially the 39-volume journal of Elizabeth Shackleton. She claims that at least in the case of the "polite" ranks--a permeable blend of lesser gentry, prosperous traders, and families in the professions--continuity of roles in marriage, motherhood, and housekeeping is more apparent than change. Moreover, Vickery asserts that women understood their duties to require strength and courage, not passivity, and that they found power in these roles, especially through claiming privileges of rank. Furthermore, instead of contraction, Vickery sees expansion in women's material and intellectual worlds through letter-writing, shopping, providing hospitality, and attending public entertainments. In this interpretation, organized philanthropy in the 1800s grew out of women's gains in the 1700s, not their losses. Although there are problems of consistency and although Vickery's depiction of women in abusive marriages is troubling, this is an important book that will demand attention for its adventurous thesis and thoughtful use of evidence. Upper-division undergraduates and above. A. Kugler; John Carroll University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 1998
Choice, February 1999
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Main Description
What was the life of an eighteenth-century British genteel woman like? This lively book, based on letters, diaries, and account books of over one hundred middle class women, transforms our understanding of the position of women in Georgian England."(Vickery) has found a gold mine in the realm of women's history: letters and pocket-book diaries kept by the daughters, wives, and mothers of gentlemen of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, allowing us to hear their voices as they experience courtship, marriage, motherhood, and widowing, and to enjoy direct accounts of their domestic and social preoccupations.... Vickery's book is full of fine details and discoveries." -- Claire Tomalin, Times Literary Supplement
Bowker Data Service Summary
Based on a study of the letters, diaries and account books of over 100 women from commercial, professional and gentry families, mainly in provincial England, this book provides an account of the lives of genteel women in Georgian times.
Table of Contents
Note on the Text
Introductionp. 1
Gentilityp. 13
Love and Dutyp. 39
Fortitude and Resignationp. 87
Prudent Economyp. 127
Elegancep. 161
Civility and Vulgarityp. 195
Proprietyp. 225
Conclusionp. 285
Abbreviationsp. 295
Notes to the Textp. 296
Research Design and Sourcesp. 352
Biographical Indexp. 354
Members of the Parker Familyp. 383
The Social Networks Databasep. 385
Elizabeth Shackleton's Servant Information Network, 1770-1781p. 387
Purchasers of Parker Rabies Medicine, 1767-1777p. 390
Tablesp. 394
Select Bibliographyp. 397
List of Plates and Acknowledgementsp. 415
Indexp. 418
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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