Victorian-era expectations regarding women’s province (the home), placed responsibility for happiness, economy (and perceived respectability),Â and her husband’s “comfort” at home, wholly within her reach–and the consequences (good and bad) entirely on her shoulders. This vintage newspaper article, “Truths for Wives”, is a classical example of pervasive attitudes in the nineteenth century. While starkly dissimilar to today’s societal expectations, this short article from 1860 sheds much light on Victorian expectations–including winning and keeping a husband’s love.
Vintage newspaper articles from 1827 and 1876 illustrate the Victorian-era attitude regarding a woman’s work within the home. Far more than meal preparation and child-rearing, these brief statements memorialize the era’s viewpoint of differences between men and women, and the wife’s cherished role as confidante, partner in sorrows and joys, whose feminine endowment brings “exquisite tact which rounds the sharp corners, and softens the asperities of different characters, enabling people differing most widely to live together in peace…”