Daughters in the 19th Century

I haven't heard from you in days, Amy. Does that mean everything is going well with you (for once) in the 19th century where, as we all know, you're currently ... stuck.

Really? You're actually telling me that you're happy?


Honestly, wait a sec.
I can hear the master of the house from where I live talking. He's outside, across the street. He's talking to the owner of 
this house. Oh, crap. He must've come for me. I don't want to go back. It's amazing here. The wife of the guy that owns this place gave me the best room ever.

And it's right across the hall from Charlotte's room.

Okay, but you have to admit to yourself that this was a temporary situation. You know that the owner of this house (and its connected store) is being nice to you because of George, the wealthy landowner. If George wasn't interested in Charlotte, neither of you would be treated so well by these people. Right?

Ack! I can hear the master of the house in the parlour now. He's telling the owner of this house that he's taking me back!  I don't want to leave Charlotte. 

Yes, well, it's just as I feared. Charlotte will no doubt be shunned by the family you actually have been living with, as well as everyone they know. I can almost hear the gossip travelling all around the town as we speak. Charlotte is considered unacceptable and far beneath their social class. Plus, they think she lied to them. She was their maid. They will never agree to take her back.

Yeah, but George can turn this whole thing around, right? Everyone respects him and does whatever he says.

The truth is, Amy, I don't know if that can happen. But I do know that you will need to go back to the original family that took you in. In the 19th century, you have no right to stay where you are. You own nothing and have no power. And that's the way it is in the mid-1800s, especially for a young woman such as yourself. You are at the mercy of the master of the house you were living with. And I'm sure the owner of this house you've been staying in the past few days will agree that you belong to the family that has provided for you. He may even think that you are their daughter. Just say goodbye to Charlotte while you still have time.

But, I'm the one who got George interested in Charlotte! It's all because of me! And I'm supposed to just go back and be bored all day? And how can I keep in touch with Charlotte? There's no phones, no nothing. And Charlotte will miss me.

Go tell her what's happening. Where is she?


She's sewing a dress for the wife of the owner of this house to thank her for not being a b**** like the lady of the house where I live.

The lady of the house is treating you as she would her own teenage daughter. There's nothing negative about it in the 19th century. Women have a passive role in the 1800s, and mothers are in charge of their daughters until they marry, or, heaven forbid, end up as spinsters. In her mind she's preserving your honour so you can marry a respectable and successful suitor one day.

The role of a woman will change dramatically by the late 19th century, beginning as a subculture of women gathering in social circles such as teas and sewing circles. Gradually, motherhood will no longer be seen as the be-all and end-all to a woman's life. The term "New Woman" will be coined in an article in 1894 by author Sarah Grand, published in the North American Review.

As you have already come to realize, young women such as yourself are being raised in the 19th century by mothers within a culture that values passivity and submissiveness in a domestic-based life without gender equality. Girls, especially of the  middle and upper classes, are taught to provide for their future husbands with a well-managed and clean home. Although the husband of the house is considered at the top of the home's hierarchy in Victorian times, the wife holds an important role in the raising of the children. It is also of great importance for mothers of daughters at this time to teach them the strict values of morality in concert with the Christian faith and social structure of the time.