‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’ by Amanda Vickery, Article Review

1696 Words Nov 2nd, 2013 7 Pages
‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’ by Amanda Vickery, Article Review

Amanda Vickery’s article presents an interesting dimension to the debate of separate spheres, although published a while ago much of what is argued still remains influential to historians today. She chooses to tackle two important aspects of women’s historiography the first being the separation of spheres, and this being a middle-class phenomenon, and secondly the marginalization of women as a consequence of capitalism. Although as with all articles there are some failings and limitations, the overall vigour of Vickery’s article is extremely convincing. She refuses to accept Davidoff and Hall’s Family
…show more content…
If this was the case, then surely this makes Davidoff and Hall’s arguments of separate spheres being an exclusively middle class phenomenon seems faulty. The problem is that so few historians have researched the lesser gentry. Vickery has pointed to a gap in scholarly thought, she resists the temptation to claim that the rest of the country was similar without further research to back it up.

Vickery argues that there were instances of women using their vision as angels in the home in order to meet their own ends, allowing them to step outside the rigid private sphere. 14 This point is corroborated by other historians such as Kent, who uses examples such as women reforming the lives of the poor, or working on colonized projects.15 This brings you to question that if middle-class women were able to manipulate separate spheres to act in public were the spheres so heavily in place? She also points to the porous nature of the model of bourgeois femininity as there are females that are philanthropists and travellers for example that certainly would not fit into the model of

More about ‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’ by Amanda Vickery, Article Review

Open Document