Professor John Bowen explores the central role of women in Jane Eyre and the unique role of the governess in 19th-century society. In addition to this lack of femininity, she also diagnosed a spirit of rebellion which she likened to the working class uprisings of the Chartists, with their demands for votes for the working people, and also the political revolutions which were then sweeping across Europe. Usage terms Public Domain. Her views come over clearly in a letter to her brother Branwell, written while she was teaching in Brussels, and also in a letter to her editor, W S Women want sex Eastlake, in which she suggests that women who take on the role of a live-in governess can never be happy.
Notes and Sketches of New South Wales. By Mrs. Colonial Library.
Letters from Madras. By a Lady. Life in Mexico.
By Madame Calderon de la Barca. The Rhone, the Darro, and the Guadalquivir. By the Hon. Dawson Damer. By the Marchioness of Londonderry. T HAT there are peculiar powers inherent in ladies' eyes, this of the Quarterly Review was not required to establish; but one in particular, of which we reap all the benefit without paying the penalty, we must in common gratitude be allowed to point out.
We mean that power of observation which, so long as it remains at home counting canvass stitches by the fireside, we are apt to consider no shrewder than our own, but which once removed from the familiar scene, and returned to us in the shape of letters or books, seldom fails to prove Women want sex Eastlake superiority.
Who, for instance, has not turned from the slap-dash scrawl of your male correspondent — with excuses at the beginning and and haste at the end, and too often nothing between but sweeping generalities — to the well-filled sheet of your female friend, with plenty of time bestowed and no paper wasted, and overflowing with those close and lively details which show not only that observing eyes have been at work, but one pair of bright eyes in particular? Or who does not know the difference between their books — especially their books of Women want sex Eastlake — the gentleman's either dull and matter-of-fact, or off-hand and superficial, with a heavy disquisition where we look for a light touch, or a foolish pun where we expect a reverential sentiment, either requiring too much trouble of the reader, or showing too much carelessness in the writer — and the lady's Women want sex Eastlake all ease, animation, vivacity, with the tact to dwell upon what you most want to know, and the sense to pass over what she does not know herself; neither suggesting authorly effort, nor requiring any conscious attention, yet leaving many a clear picture traced on the memory, and many a solid truth impressed on the mind?
It is true the case is occasionally reversed. Ladies have been known to write the dullest and emptiest books — a fact for which there is no ing — and gentlemen the most delightful; but here probably, if the truth were told, their wives or daughters helped them.
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But, in truth, every country with any pretensions to civilization has a twofold aspect, addressed to two different modes of perception, and seldom visible simultaneously to both. Every country has a home life as well as a public life, and the first quite necessary to interpret the last. Every country therefore, to be fairly understood, requires reporters from both sexes.
Not that it is precisely recommended that all travellers should hunt the world in couples, and give forth their impressions in the double columns of holy wedlock; but that that kind of partnership should be tacitly formed between books of travel which, properly understood, we should have imagined to have been the chief aim of matrimony — namely, to supply each other's deficiencies, and correct each other's errors, purely for the good of the public.
It may Women want sex Eastlake objected that the inferiority of a woman's education is, or ought to be, a formidable barrier; but without stopping to question whether the education of a really well-educated Englishwoman be on the whole inferior to her brother's, we decidedly think that in the instance of travelling the difference between them is greatly in her favour.
If the gentleman knows more of ancient history and ancient languages, the lady knows more of human nature and modern languages; while one of her greatest charms, as a describer of foreign scenes and manners, more even than the closeness or liveliness of her mode of observation, is that very purposelesness resulting from the more desultory nature nature of her education. A man either starts on his travels with a particular object in view, or, failing that, drives a hobby of his own the whole way before him; whereas a woman, accustomed by habit, if not created by nature, to Women want sex Eastlake her mind more equally on all that is presented, and less troubled with preconceived ideas as to what is most important to observe, goes picking up materials much more indiscriminately, and where, as in travelling, little things are of great ificance, frequently much more to the purpose.
The tourist may be sure that in nine cases out of ten it is not that on which he has bestowed most care and pains which proves most interesting to the reader. Again, there is an advantage in the very nature of a book of travels peculiarly favourable to a woman's feelings — the almost total absence of responsibility. It is merely the editorship of her own journal, undertaken for the amusement of her children, or the improvement of a younger sister, or the building of a school; for it is a remarkable fact that ladies never publish their tours to please themselves.
In short, she can hardly be said to stand committed as an authoress. If she send forth a lively and graceful work, the world will soon tell her it is a pity she is not one; otherwise, Women want sex Eastlake blame falls on her materials. But though the lady tourist has her modesty thus far screened and sheltered, it is equally certain that there is no department of writing through which her own individual character is more visible.
We form a clearer idea of the writer of the most unpretending book of travels than we do of her who gives us the most striking work of imagination. The under current of personality, however little obtruded to sight, is sure to be genuine. The opinions she expresses on the simplest occasions are those which guide her on the greatest; the habits she displays, however Women want sex Eastlake by her irregular movements, are those contracted in her regular life: hence the most interesting result, in our mind, to be gathered from an examination of this class of literature.
We see our countrywoman, in these books, unconsciously in the main, but fully portrayed. We see her with her national courage and her national reserve, with her sound head and her tender heart, with the independent freedom of her actions and the decorous restraint of her manners, with her high intellectual acquirements and her simplicity of tastes, with the early attained maturity of her good sense and the long-continued freshness of her youth.
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We see her nice, scrupulous, delicate, beyond all others of her sex, yet simple, practical, useful, as none but herself understands to be; versed in the humblest in-door duty, excelling in the hardiest out-door exercise; equally fitted for ease or exertion; enthusiastic for nature; keen for adventure; devoted to her children, her flowers, her poor; petting a great Newfoundland dog, loving a horse, and delighting in the sea.
In short, Women want sex Eastlake see her the finest production of the finest country upon earth — man's best companion, whether in the travels over this world or the voyage through this life; but only to be understood or deserved by the Englishman, and rather too good even for him. It is true, and perhaps as well for our pride, that many a reverse to this picture occurs; but even in the worst cases it is rather an affectation, exaggeration, or caricature of the national female character, than any direct departure from it.
There are some lady tourists who are over delicate or over adventurous — over enthusiastic or over humdrum — over simple or over wise; but where is she, whatever may be the difference of talent or taste, who ventures to bring forward an Women want sex Eastlake opinion or a questionable moral? The same reason must also deter us from including that more systematic set of travellers who regularly make a tour in order to make a book, and have thus pretty well divided the tourable world between them — Mrs.
These able and accomplished ladies do travel with an object, and it is apparent in every line they write. Instead of seeing the woman, we only discover the authoress; and, admirable as she may be, it is not her that we are in quest of upon this occasion.
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To revert, therefore, to the object of our search — while regarding these unstudied and unpretending works as some of the truest channels for the study of the Englishwoman, they cannot be strictly taken as a test of comparison between her and the lady of other countries.
Women want sex Eastlake as traveller, or writer of travels, the foreign lady can in no way be measured against her. The only just point of comparison is why the one does travel, and the other does not. And, upon the first view of the matter, the impediments would seem to be all on the side of our own countrywoman. Her home is proverbially the most domestic — her manners the most reserved — her comforts the most indispensable.
Nevertheless, it is precisely because home, manners, and comforts are what they are, that the Englishwoman excels all others in the art of travelling. It is those very habits of order and regularity which make her domestic, — it is that very exclusiveness of family life which makes her reserved, — it is the very nature of the comforts, to her so indispensable, — it is all that best fits her to live in her own country, that also best fits her to visit others.
Where is the foreign lady who combines the four cardinal virtues of travelling — activity, punctuality, courage, and independence — like the Englishwoman? Where is she whose comforts are nine-tenths of them comprised Women want sex Eastlake the head of fresh air and plenty of water, like the Englishwoman's?
A foreigner will tell us that the chief argument lies in the English purse;— but the Russians are rich enough — and the Russian lady moves abundantly about from place to place — but she does not travel in the same sense as the Englishwoman. The Russians have means enough to sail a whole fleet of private yachts, but which of them would think of cruising in the Mediterranean, or of launching across the Atlantic for pure pleasure? There are certain modes of life for which English nature and education alone seem adapted;— travelling is one — living in the country another.
Women want sex Eastlake truth is that no foreign nation possesses that same class of women from which the great body of our female tourists are drafted. They have not the same well-read, solid thinking, — early rising — sketch-loving — light-footed — trim-waisted — straw-hatted specimen of women; educated with the refinement of the highest classes, and with the usefulness of the lowest; all-sufficient companion to her husband, and all-sufficient lady's maid to herself — they have her not.
Of course in the s that flit annually from our coasts, from one motive or other. Who can witness the innumerable family parties which annually take their excursions abroad — the husbands and wives — brothers and sisters — parents and children, — all enjoying the novel Women want sex Eastlake, but chiefly because they are enjoying them together?
Who can see the t delight with which these expeditions are planned, the kindly feelings and habits they develop, the t pleasure with which they are remembered — without recognising a proof of exclusive domestic cohesion which no other people display? What, too, is the secret of that facility with which the Englishman adapts himself to a residence in any remote corner of the world? Simply because he takes his home with him; and has more within it and wants less beyond it than any other man in the world.
As for the tribes who throng capitals and watering-places for purposes of mere idleness and dissipation, and because they can indulge both upon a cheaper and laxer Women want sex Eastlake than at home, they certainly do not contribute to give foreigners a very exalted idea of the national domesticity; but whether human nature or English nature be here to blame, we suppose may be a question; we suspect the fact is that this description of travellers quit their native land precisely because they are no longer suited to her, nor she to them.
But to return to the ladies:— if now and then some foreigners venture on their travels, here the analogy ends; they do not venture to publish them. The German ladies, with all their virtues, are not supposed to excel in rapid observation, or lively delineation. Inward experiences and not outward impressions are their forte; — the eyes of their souls are brighter than Women want sex Eastlake of their bodies; — they are fonder of looking into the one than out of the other.
They will give you, therefore, most admirable maps of the winding paths of their own hearts, but they are not of much assistance on the common dusty high ro of other countries. The Frenchwoman has not the same grounds for silence.
Her eyes and her tongue we know are both of the most lively description — she would make a shrewd observer and a brilliant describer — but alas! The 'De l'Allemagne' is the type of classical sentiment, the 'Lettres d'un Voyageur' the flower of picturesque romance — neither of them come under the denomination of travels.
It is time, however, that we should advert more particularly to the fair writers named at the head of our paper. Since the peace ofmost of the central European countries have been too completely examined and described for a passing tourist to offer any novelty, while Women want sex Eastlake excellent Handbooks of the day leave no room for contributions of mere roide information.
Our modern writers of this class may be therefore divided into three he:— Such as have made their own personal movements the mere thread on which to hang the general history of the countries they are traversing, or the groundwork on which to introduce a narrative of fictitious interest;— such as have remained long enough in one province or place, however obscure in itself, or however often described before, to obtain that living acquaintance with it which always commands interest;— and lastly, those who, having launched out beyond the beaten track, are privileged to offer any description, however unpretending, on the score of novelty.
As specimens of the first class we may mention Miss Taylor's 'Letters from Italy:' a volume which will retain a standard value for correct research and simple beauty of writing;— Mrs. Dalkeith Holmes's 'Ride on horseback through France and Switzerland to Florence' — in which we have not a little sterling information and sterling humour too, Women want sex Eastlake very much of feminine grace;— Mrs.
Ashton Yates's Letters from Switzerland to her children. We instance these as all showing what we have defined as the national type of female character — minds of the highest intellectual culture, and manners of the most domestic simplicity. As a more particular illustration of Women want sex Eastlake is the highest pride of modern English civilisation — the union of genuine learning and genuine refinement — we may once more name Mrs. Hamilton Gray's 'Sepulchres of Etruria. The list of those who have resided a longer period in one place requires more particular attention; the Englishwoman's services being here most important, and her own character most conspicuous.
In this capacity it is almost exclusively affection and duty that send her abroad; and it is a proud and a pleasant feeling to trace these qualities as the chief basis of the energy and animation that appear in these books.
With so much of the Women want sex Eastlake Ruth at her heart, it is not in Latin or Greek, or in Physical Sciences, or even, we hope, in Mesmerism to unsex her. Wherever she goes, a little fertile patch of household Women want sex Eastlake grows beneath her feet; wherever there is room for rational tastes, orderly habits, and gentle charities — and where is there not? Like the gipsy she may sing — 'We pitch our tent where'er we please, And there we make our home.
We pass over a of older works of great value and attraction, from Lady Calcott's 'Residence in the Brazils' down to the 'Letters from the Shores of the Baltic,' to call the reader's attention to four more recent books — dated from as opposite parts of the world as could well have been chosen — viz. No work can better illustrate the distinctive traits of a woman's writing than the first of these;— the easy style — the brilliant thought — the delicate touch — the close detail — the sound sense — and then that pretty under current of natural affection which gives the true healthy English tone to the whole.
It is a real pleasure to accompany such a lady over sea and land — though the former stretched monotonously around her during a four-months' merchant-vessel passage — and was exchanged for the scorched 'ever-brown' surface of a country devoid of any past or present interest, whether of an historical, poetical, pictorial, or social kind — New South Wales.
But liveliness, sense, and knowledge, and a spring of youthful intelligence are hers; and a long-continued honeymoon of fresh-wedded happiness may it never wane! Independent, however, of these general recommendations, Mrs.