Skip navigation
Skip navigation

Victorian spinsters

Auchmuty, Rosemary Katherine

Description

About one in four of all Victorian women never married. For reasons discussed in the thesis, many of these were middleclass ladies who, in a society where woman's role was seen in terms of marriage and motherhood, found themselves without a satisfying life and often without a livelihood. A small group of educated, leisured women of the upper middle classes used the plight of the larger force of 'superfluous women' to push their claims for a wider sphere of activity in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAuchmuty, Rosemary Katherine
dc.date.accessioned2017-08-14T03:44:52Z
dc.date.available2017-08-14T03:44:52Z
dc.date.copyright1975
dc.identifier.otherb1014886
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/123811
dc.description.abstractAbout one in four of all Victorian women never married. For reasons discussed in the thesis, many of these were middleclass ladies who, in a society where woman's role was seen in terms of marriage and motherhood, found themselves without a satisfying life and often without a livelihood. A small group of educated, leisured women of the upper middle classes used the plight of the larger force of 'superfluous women' to push their claims for a wider sphere of activity in education, employment and political life. These Victorian spinsters emerged as the leaders of the feminist movement, and as a result the majority of reforms in women's condition which were achieved in the nineteenth century were intended to benefit single women. Even those directed at improving the position of married women were partly the result of an enquiry into the conditions of marriage which followed from the discovery of such large numbers of unmarried women in a society dedicated to the family ideal. Higher education was opened to women. Of necessity the notion that ladies should not work was dropped. Steps were taken to improve the conditions of governesses, and new careers were made available in nursing, medicine, clerical and shop work. Victorian spinsters have usually been portrayed as maiden aunts or maligned governesses. These types existed but were by no means universal. Many spinsters openly repudiated marriage and promoted the single life. Victorian spinsters, consciously as feminists involved in women's rights movements, or unconsciously as working women in the professions and at home, more than any other group furthered the emancipation of middleclass women in their own time, and prepared the ground for the extension of women's liberation in our own century.
dc.format.extent1v
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshSingle women Great Britain
dc.titleVictorian spinsters
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorClark, Manning
dcterms.valid1975
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1975
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of Demography, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d67b69ac7070
dc.date.updated2017-08-04T01:12:45Z
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
b10148863_Auchmuty_Rosemary_Katherine.pdf141.04 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail


Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  19 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator