The conditions of women during the Victorian Era in England. Used in a class presentation in 2nd year of Philology.

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We chose Act 3 for our presentation because it reflects women's lifestyle during the Victorian Era. Women of the mid- 19th century had no choices. Most lived in a state little better than slavery. They had little choice but to obey men, because in most cases men held all the resources and women had no means of subsistence. A wealthy widow or spinster was a lucky exception. A woman announcing her intention to remain single would attract social disapproval and pity.

In that time it was thought that women who didn't marry early in life, might not be able to marry at all. Suitable places to meet a potential husband were Functions such as Church Social or a Holiday Dance and glamorous balls. Age difference was really not important then. Someone her own age, or even younger, was perfectly acceptable for a young woman, but so was a husband substantially older than her.

What parents and ladies looked for in a man was a solid character, an established position in society, and a comfortable income. However, some fear of remaining single led women to marry unwisely. It is remarkable that once a woman married, everything the couple owned became of the husband and he kept everything in case of divorce.

It was expected that girls would marry and have children, so it was generally considered wasteful to spend money on their education. Since "a woman's place was in the home", most young girls were taught mainly the skills needed for domestic lives as wives and mothers. Middle-class girls received a basic education usually given at home by a governess. She taught them Reading, Writing and Arithmetic with some History and a foreign language.

Some women worked out as servants, nurses, agricultural labourers, clothing mending, factory workers or teachers. Factory...