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Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain$
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K. D. Reynolds

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207276.001.0001

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Political Society: Gender and Power in Victorian Britain

Political Society: Gender and Power in Victorian Britain

(p.1) Political Society: Gender and Power in Victorian Britain
Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain

K. D. Reynolds

Oxford University Press

This book examines the women of Lady Dorothy's own class and heyday, the aristocratic women of the first two-thirds of Victoria's reign, and the ways in which they exercised power and authority within the constraints of patriarchal society. This study centres on the mid-19th century, between 1830 and 1880. It is a study of women living in accordance with a set of precepts and understandings of their world which would have been familiar to aristocratic women for many centuries. This book demonstrates that the belief that ‘wealth, status, power, and class consciousness’ were ‘masculine assets and attributes’ is mistaken, but the belief is widely held. At the same time, it attempts to put women into the history of the British aristocracy, and the aristocracy into the history of British women.

Keywords:   feminine ideals, Lady Dorothy, patronage, aristocracy, British women, duty

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