I’m Every Woman?

Standard

homeyoung

Photo from Perth Remembered–Ellen Huddleston’s home for young women in 1902, built for her after her husband Robert had died in 1899. In the 1898-1899 Perth Directory it lists Robert Huddleston’s house as being on the south side of North Street between Lewis and Market Street. Market Street later became Rogers Road. Photo– Lee Huddleston 

 

Rather than attracting a husband through their domestic abilities, middle-class girls were coached in what were known as ‘accomplishments’. These would be learned either at boarding school or from a resident governess. In Pride & Prejudice the snobbish Caroline Bingley lists the skills required by any young lady who considers herself accomplished:

A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages….; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions…(ch. 8)

It was important for a well-educated girl to soften her erudition with a graceful and feminine manner. No-one wanted to be called a ‘blue-stocking’, the name given to women who had devoted themselves too enthusiastically to intellectual pursuits. Blue-stockings were considered unfeminine and off-putting in the way that they attempted to usurp men’s ‘natural’ intellectual superiority. Some doctors reported that too much study actually had a damaging effect on the ovaries, turning attractive young women into dried-up prunes. Later in the century, when Oxford and Cambridge opened their doors to women, many families refused to let their clever daughters attend for fear that they would make themselves unmarriageable.

 

No-one wanted to be called a ‘blue-stocking’, the name given to women who had devoted themselves too enthusiastically to intellectual pursuits. Blue-stockings were considered unfeminine and off-putting in the way that they attempted to usurp men’s ‘natural’ intellectual superiority. Some doctors reported that too much study actually had a damaging effect on the ovaries, turning attractive young women into dried-up prunes. Later in the century, when Oxford and Cambridge opened their doors to women, many families refused to let their clever daughters attend for fear that they would make themselves unmarriageable.

 

gilliescc

Photo– Public Archives
Packard car driven by Elsie R. Gillies, building in background the Baptist Church on Bridge Street Carleton Place

On the Perth Remembered Facebook site Ellen Huddleston’s home for young women was listed. in 1902,  it built for her after her husband Robert had died in 1899. In the 1898-1899 Perth Directory it lists Robert Huddleston’s house as being on the south side of North Street between Lewis and Market Street. Market Street later became Rogers Road.

 There was lots of work for young women in Perth in the different industries so I would image that girls from the country came to town to work and stayed at the boarding houses. There are many ads in the Perth Courier of the time looking for young women workers.

 

Did You Know About the House of Industry?

Elizabeth Lindsay of Almonte — Victorian Women Business Owners

News of Butter– Fireman— and Women of Stamina in Carleton Place

Some Things Don’t Change in Carleton Place – But Now the Women Do it!

A Tale of Two Women on International Women’s Day

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s