The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (Paperback)
  • The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (Paperback)
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The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 448 Pages / Published: 14/11/2003
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Waterstones Says

A landmark work of revisionist history, Vickery’s account of the role of ‘middle class’ women in the Georgian era challenges the received wisdom that the wives and daughters of professional men lost freedoms and autonomy, arguing instead that many were able to express themselves in ways hitherto impossible. Lucid, authoritative and accessible, The Gentleman’s Daughter is a triumph of historical reconstruction.    

What was the life of an eighteenth-century British genteel woman like? In this lively and controversial book, Amanda Vickery invokes women's own accounts of their intimate and their public lives to argue that in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the scope of female experience did not diminish-in fact, quite the reverse. Refuting the common understanding that in Georgian times the daughters of merchants, the wives of lawyers, and the sisters of gentlemen lost female freedoms and retreated into their homes, Vickery shows that these women experienced expanding social and intellectual horizons. As they embraced a world far beyond the boundaries of their own parishes through their tireless writing and ravenous reading, genteel women also enjoyed an array of emerging new public arenas-assembly rooms, concert series, theater seasons, circulating libraries, day-time lectures, urban walks, and pleasure gardens.

Based on the letters, diaries, and account books of over one hundred women from commercial, professional, and gentry families, this book transforms our understanding of the position of women in Georgian England. In their own words, they tell of their sometimes humorous, sometimes moving experiences and desires, and of their many roles, including kinswoman, wife, mother, housekeeper, consumer, hostess, and member of polite society. By the nineteenth century, family duties continued to dominate women's lives, yet, Vickery contends, the public profile of privileged women had reached unprecedented heights.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300102222
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 197 x 127 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'The most important thing in English feminist history in the last ten years.' - Roy Porter

'The Gentleman's Daughter is the most important work of social history since Lawrence Stone's Family, Sex and Marriage. From now on, any historian writing about 18th-century women will have to address the arguments in Vickery's book... It is the first book to bring out into the open the debate about separate spheres. It succeeds on two levels, first as an academic argument of the highest order, and second as a fascinating and enjoyable read. Serious history is rarely this fun.' - Amanda Foreman, The Times

'Innovative, expertly researched and luminous in style.' - Linda Colley, London Review of Books

'Amanda Vickery's new history of women in Georgian England offers a revolutionary reinterpretation of the accepted script, both an academic triumph and a spell-binding read.' - Julie Wheelwright, The Independent

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