A lady's companion in the 19th century


Hi, Amy. Just wondering how the maid is doing and if you two ended up doing something on Valentine's Day.

So, it sounds like a few friends of the family you live with in the 19th century came over. But you also made sure the maid didn't feel left out? That's great.

What? The lady of the house asked you to leave Charlotte alone? She considers the maid strictly hired help? She wants you to basically ignore her?
Well, I suppose that's the way it is in the 19th century. But I also know that it would be a totally different story if Charlotte had been hired as a "lady's companion". 


Especially in England, where Charlotte is from, a lady's companion is not at all thought of as a servant, although at times she might be under-appreciated by the family that hired her. But, the reality is that her background and social class would be similar to her employers. 
Charlotte's situation is quite different. She worked on her family's farm in England, and then in a factory - she has no class status of her own.

As you've noticed by now, upper and middle class young women spend most of their time staying at home. They do not have the advantage of college educations. Their job opportunities are slight.
Because Charlotte is unmarried (and is also missing two fingers because of the factory accident), her options for employment are quite limited. It seems to me that being your lady's companion would work out well as she is a few years older than you, which is a requirement; but of course this is not my decision. 
What would her role in the house be?

To take care of all your needs and wants, of course!

A lady's companion in the 19th century spends time with her younger protege and assists in entertaining guests and accompanies her on outings as a chaperone. She would have her own room in the house, although hers would be on the upper floor with the rest of the family, not on the lower level at the back of the house, like Charlotte's. Unlike Charlotte, she wouldn't be expected to do difficult and tiring housework, and although she would be paid a salary, it would be considered an "allowance" - Charlotte's pay is considered a "wage".

Thinking about what I just said? 
It does seem like the perfect solution to get Charlotte out of her funk, right? Just make sure you let the family you live with know that it is Charlotte you would like as your lady's companion. If they hire someone else for the job, even she would end up bossing Charlotte around, as a maid's position is considered much lower than a lady's companion.