Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian by Sharon Marcus

By Sharon Marcus

Girls in Victorian England wore jewellery made up of every one other's hair and wrote poems celebrating many years of friendship. They pored over magazines that defined the harmful pleasures of corporal punishment. a number of had sexual relationships with one another, exchanged earrings and vows, willed one another estate, and lived jointly in long term partnerships defined as marriages. yet, as Sharon Marcus exhibits, those ladies weren't visible as gender outlaws. Their wishes have been fanned via patron tradition, and their friendships and unions have been accredited or even inspired by way of relatives, society, and church. faraway from being sexless angels outlined merely by means of male wishes, Victorian girls brazenly loved or even dominating different ladies. Their friendships helped discover the proper of companionate love among women and men celebrated via novels, and their unions encouraged politicians and social thinkers to reform marriage law.

via a detailed exam of literature, memoirs, letters, family magazines, and political debates, Marcus unearths how relationships among ladies have been a vital part of femininity. Deeply researched, powerfully argued, and jam-packed with unique readings of common and fantastic resources, Between Women overturns every little thing we suggestion we knew approximately Victorian girls and the historical past of marriage and family members existence. It bargains a brand new paradigm for theorizing gender and sexuality--not simply within the Victorian interval, yet in our own.

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Ms Grey exerted a powerful control over discipline problems in her school, as the following example illustrates. Elderly residents from a nearby (all white) council estate complained to the school that they were being ‘harassed’ by gangs of black girls. Although this claim was never substantiated (there was a tuck shop on the estate that the girls frequented, much to the annoyance of the local residents), Ms Grey responded by giving the lower school and those classes in the upper school with a notorious reputation for being difficult, detention for a week.

Comment on black female performance was either absent from, or if noted, simply ignored in such research areas as diverse as IQ, self-concept, cultural and socio-economic disadvantage. The consequence of this oversight was more far-reaching than is often acknowledged. By failing to recognise the significance of differential achievement, research on racial and educational issues confined itself to specific avenues of investigation—avenues that often perpetuated ill-defined or unsubstantiated theoretical explanations for West Indian underachievement.

3) The lack of structured homework was apparent. During lessons very few pupils were given assignments or, if they were, they rarely completed the work, a weak excuse often being accepted as adequate. One teacher complained: DO SCHOOLS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? ’ Well, I always thought homework was for the benefit of education, not just a function of discipline or for the image of the school. (Ms Cole: Religious and General Studies teacher) Ms Bell, another teacher, pointed to a consequence of this relaxed approach to homework for the pupils concerned: ‘You find that they just cannot cope with homework.

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