Victorian Family as Seen Through the Letters of Louise Creighton to Her Mother: 1872-1880. Edited and with an Introduction
|Author: ||Covert, James|
This collection of 161 letters provides a unique window into the intimate inner workings of a particular upper-middle-class Victorian household. The first letter was written on January 10, 1872 during Louise's honeymoon in Paris, and the last on November 30, 1880 just a few weeks before her mother's death. Louise Creighton was not only the wife and biographer of her famous husband, Bishop Mandell Creighton, but she has emerged as a moderate Christian feminist in an era when women's causes seemed to be generally articulated by more militant voices. The letters also reveal much about the academic and social life in Oxford and later in a quaint village in Northumberland where Louise records her duties as a vicar's wife. Other fascinating sections in her letters are the descriptions of managing her household of servants (cook, gardener, nurse, governess, maids and groom), shopping, planning her garden - the more impressive when remembering that during this period she was in her twenties. Both she and her husband wrote books, traveled frequently to the continent, entertained widely, and engaged in social life with the local gentry and county nobility. With illustrations.
“. . . provide useful material for fleshing out our understanding of the contours of private domestic life of conventional upper-middle-class women. The letters are all the more appealing as well as historically edifying because of the apparently genuine affection if not emotional intimacy between the daughter and her mother. There is a timeless quality about some of the concerns in the letters . . . The distinctly Victorian context of these questions and concerns, however, makes these letters a rich source for the social history of the age. . . . chock-full of intriguing details about Victorian domestic life. . . . the letters are a valuable and enjoyable source for the history as it was lived of affluent educated Victorian women.” - Albion