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Richard Redgrave, 1844: The Governess

Governess (from Latin gubernare , dt . To steer, to lead) is an outdated term for a private tutor or educator . The term is rarely used these days and has had a negative connotation. For example, “governess-like” is a strict, not necessarily beneficial-looking clothing style . In a modified meaning he is still in the hotel industry use: As floors governess is in Switzerland , the housekeeper called which instructs the maids in their work.

Originally it was families of the high nobility who entrusted the upbringing of small children or older daughters to a governess or court master. In Great Britain from the second half of the 18th century it became customary in middle class circles to employ a governess. In Germany and France, however, the employment of a governess was mainly limited to families of the upper class and the nobility.

For women of the educated middle class, the activity of governess for two centuries was one of the few opportunities to pursue an appropriate profession. It was almost entirely seized by women who at some point in their biography did not have a father, husband or brother to support themselves and who therefore had to or wanted to fend for themselves. In Great Britain around the middle of the 19th century, so many women were forced to earn their living in this way that they were referred to as “governess misery”. This was understood to mean material hardship, a lack of self-esteem due to the low reputation of this profession, disregard for their individual needs and the struggle for a professional job in a job market that offered women only very limited opportunities compared to men. The governess occupies a correspondingly broad space in the English literature of the time. Novels like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Agnes Gray by her sister Anne Brontë have shaped the image of the governess to this day. In other European countries, different social conditions and an earlier schooling of girls' education meant that the governess profession did not develop into a comparatively strong symbol of specifically female disadvantage.

For a long time, at least in Great Britain, exercising the role of governess was not preceded by any educational training. Descent from a “good” family alone established the right to exercise it. In Germany, on the other hand, the first seminars for teachers were held at the beginning of the 19th century. With increasing speed, further training centers for teachers emerged, the graduates of which often worked temporarily in private homes. They were increasingly referred to as educators and tutors. The governess, who for a long time embodied the working woman in a qualified profession, therefore also stands for the advancement of women into a qualified field of work, as the bourgeois vision of gender relations women were only entitled to the role of spouse, housewife and mother.

Examples of women who worked temporarily as governesses are the writers Anne and Charlotte Brontë , the women's rights activist Mary Wollstonecraft , the later Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bertha von Suttner , the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and physics, Marie Curie , the Salonnière Henriette Herz , and the German women's rights activist Minna Cauer , Helene Lange , Auguste Schmidt , Franziska Tiburtius , Clara Zetkin and the zoologist Katharina Heinroth .


Robert Harris (1849–1919): Anna H. Leonowens (detail), who worked for five years as governess at the Siamese court

Not many women who had to make a living as governesses have left their own testimonies and sources on their lives. The few who have received direct evidence of life for posterity are predominantly either people who achieved fame or who were related to people who became famous. It is known that the Brontë sisters hated their work as governesses, and the experiences of Eliza Bishop and Everina Wollstonecraft, the sisters of the women's rights activist Mary Wollstonecraft, were similarly negative. Claire Clairmont's experiences as a governess in a Russian family included happy moments. Overall, however, she hated having to share her life with a family with whom she had nothing in common.

An exception to this source situation are the records of governesses Agnes Porter, Nelly Wheeton, Elizabeth Ham and Ellen Weeton. Agnes Porter worked exclusively for the family of the Earl of Ilchester, whose residence remained in the family's possession. Her diaries and letters were found in a drawer almost a century and a half after her death and published in 1998. Nelly Wheeton's records were discovered at a flea market. The diaries of Elisabeth Ham and Ellen Weeton, both published in the first half of the 20th century, provide an insight into the life of governesses in the period from 1810 to 1820. In addition, several women who worked abroad as governesses published in the 19th century had been and were able to gain such extraordinary experiences that they could hope for a wider reading audience, autobiographies. One of the best-known authors of this genre is Anna Leonowens , who published her report on her work at the court in Siam in 1870 (The English Governess at the Siamese Court) . In 1865 Emmeline Lott published her report on her experiences as governess of Ismail Pasha's youngest son (The English Governess in Egypt: Harem Life in Egypt and Constantinople) .

Insights into the life of a governess are also provided by the letters, diaries and autobiographies of people who were raised by them. A series of biographies appeared between the First and Second World War, the authors of which grew up in a household where a governess worked. However, according to the historian Kathryn Hughes, these biographies are not only characterized by a nostalgic look at a childhood in the Victorian era , but the authors mostly come from a very privileged class. The life situation of governesses was also taken up in the press of their time. In the UK in particular, newspapers often had columns offering their readers advice on issues relating to the employment of a governess. There was also an extensive range of advisory literature that was written both for women who wanted to take up this position and for their employers. Anna Jameson's The Relative Position of Mothers and Governesses is one of the best-known works of this guidebook .

The governess is occasionally the protagonist in stories that are still part of the literary canon that is still essential today. In addition, with the Victorian governess novel, a genre of its own developed , of which only the two novels Agnes Gray and Jane Eyre still find a reading public today. Regardless of their literary significance today, however, these novels and stories provide insights into how the role of a governess or head of house was perceived.

Courtly origin

Louis XIV with his brother Philippe and the educator Madame Lansac

The title governess was originally used analogously to the term court master. The court masters referred to people who were in charge of the royal household and the service of the monarch. A governess or court master originally administered the income of princely children, hired servants and teaching staff for them, and occasionally gave them lessons herself. In Germany, where the courtly way of life had become more complex since the 17th century, following the example of Versailles, and where the prince, princess and princely children each had their own households, it was mostly members of the local nobility who held such positions. Mostly she was recruited from the group of aristocratic women living at or close to the court, whose manners and characters were known.

The social status of such a governess was - unlike what was later to be the case in bourgeois households - clear; the task was usually associated with considerable prestige. Governesses received fees, gifts and, as a rule, pensions. Close ties often developed between governess and pupil. Examples of this are Elisabeth Charlotte von der Pfalz and her court master Anna Katharina von Uffeln , Maria Anna Christiana von Bayern and her governess Magdalena Maria Countess Portia, Friedrich the Great and Marthe de Roucoulle , Wilhelmine von Prussia and Sophie von Danckelmann, Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Salomé von Gélieu as well as the future British Queen Victoria and Baroness Louise Lehzen . Antonie Forster , Georg Forster's sister , stayed in close contact with her former pupils, the daughters of the Duke of Courland, and was a guest of Wilhelmine von Sagan for months at an advanced age . Elisa von Ahlefeldt paid her governess Marianne Philipi in one of her first acts after taking over her father's inheritance, the pension that her father Friedrich von Ahlefeldt -Laurvigen had promised her former governess for life, but had not paid for 21 years.

A few governesses achieved great influence. The best known is probably Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon , who became governess of the children of Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV in 1669 and got on better and better with their father over the years. In 1684, a year after the death of the French queen, Louis XIV entered into a secret marriage with the Marquise de Maintenon. In 1686 she founded a boarding school for poor noble daughters in Saint-Cyr, which existed until 1793 and in which she herself spent her retirement.

Pedagogical justification of governance

From today's perspective, the pedagogical relationship between governess and pupil in Germany for the 18th and 19th centuries is described as “theory-free”. There were no recognized methods of bringing up girls in the home, while there were for boys in the home. However, some educational writings mention the governess. August Friedrich Wilhelm Crome , for example, in his work On Education through Domestic Heads (1788) takes the view that education should only take place through the Domestic Head. August Hermann Niemeyer , on the other hand, described in his counselor for Hofmeister in 1796 that the governess was responsible for the upbringing of the girls, while the private tutor was responsible for that of the boys. Both can teach each other's pupils by the hour. If a household only employs one governess, she will take care of bringing up the boys until they are around eight years old.

François Fénelon and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

The situation was different in France, where the criticism of the upbringing of girls in monasteries and the associated demand that mothers take care of the upbringing and education of their children also gave governesses a theoretical foundation for upbringing girls. In 1687, François Fénelon , in his book Traitée de l'éducation des filles (On raising daughters), called for girls to be brought up in the family because, in his view, the mother could better prepare her daughters for their future role as housewives, wives and mothers. If they hindered other duties or a lack of knowledge, they could be represented and exonerated by governesses. In preparation for their future role in family and society, lessons should be limited to religion, writing, reading, arithmetic, law, history, Latin and needlework. Only if the girl showed special talent should she also be instructed in music and drawing. Fénelon's writing was very influential in large parts of Europe for a long time. It was translated into German by August Hermann Francke in 1698 and adapted to Protestant living conditions. Building on the ideas of Fénelon and John Locke described the English writer Sarah Fielding in The Governess in 1749 ; or, Little Female Academy the domestic individual education of middle-class girls. Classes are limited to reading, writing, working and “all appropriate female lessons”. The Practical Education (1798) written by Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth or the writings Anna Laetitia Barbauld and Mary Wollstonecraft were also shaped by similarly Enlightenment ideas .

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont , who temporarily raised the daughter of the politician Carteret in London, published her Magasin des Enfans (magazine for children) for the first time in 1757 , which was also published a little later in English, German, Russian, Italian, Greek and Spanish. In addition to fairy tales and stories, it also contained doctrinal conversations between the educator and the pupil, the aim of which was “ ... that one should form morals, take care of the mind, remove it, give it a geometrical twist, arrange the external .” In 1764 Le Magasin des appeared Jeunes Dames (magazine for young women), in which the author not only discusses the choice of a husband in doctrinal conversations with her now adult pupils, but also instructs them how to choose a governess and how to behave towards her. According to de Beaumont, a governess had to have full authority over her pupil, and even if she had to treat each child differently according to his or her individuality, it had to be continuously monitored, shaped and kept away from evil influences. In her own behavior towards the child, she must always keep the goals of her upbringing in mind.

Madame de Genlis

Madame de Genlis, painted by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard in 1780

The publications of Stéphanie-Félicité du Crest de Genlis , who entered the service of the Duke and Duchess of Chartres together with her husband in 1772, are of similar importance as the writings of de Beaumont . In 1777 she was appointed governess of the twin daughters of the duke couple. Influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau, de Genlis took over the care of the two girls as early as infancy and raised the two daughters together with their own daughters away from the ducal household. In 1782 she was also given the high office of governor for the sons of the ducal couple. This office was actually reserved for men only, the appointment, which triggered sardonic ridicule poems and public protests in France, had to be made by Louis XVI. beeing confirmed. De Genlis was not only responsible for choosing the boys' teachers, but also determined how the children were to be brought up. She described her ideas about home education in the epistolary novel Adèle and Théodore (1782). She advocated child-friendly teaching and called for girls to be educated that were geared towards the practical needs of everyday life in their respective class. Her method of foreign language teaching, in which children were to learn a language in everyday life, was particularly innovative. Even more than de Beaumont, she stressed the governess's complete authority as an expert on education. De Genlis, on the other hand, refused to educate girls to become “learned women”. Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan made even less demands on the education of girls. Due to her talent from a middle-class background, she rose to be a reader in Versailles and chambermaid of Queen Marie-Antoinette and later headed boarding schools for girls. She grapples with the working conditions of governesses because women who have graduated from her school often take up this profession. At the beginning of the 19th century, Campan recommended governesses not only to adapt to their pupil, but also to her parents and all other household members. She also advised them to always be aware of their position as employees, even if they were treated like family members. So she shouldn't take part in socializing where the child was not allowed. Education should focus on piety, charity, sobriety, cleanliness and order. In arithmetic, on the other hand, the most basic knowledge was sufficient. Needlework, playing the piano and drawing were other major subjects.

During the 19th century there was no theoretical or methodological development of governess. Educated parents and educators were essentially content with new editions of the magazine for children when they were looking for educational publications.

French-speaking governesses in Germany

One of the special features of Germany is that from the late 17th to the early 19th century, French-speaking governesses were very often employed in aristocratic and wealthy middle-class households. At that time, French was the lingua franca of the higher classes. The multilingual education with the help of foreign language staff was considered a German invention. Stéphanie-Félicité du Crest de Genlis , who popularized this method in France, may have adopted it from German models. Such governesses came from France, French-speaking Switzerland, and occasionally from Belgium. At the German Protestant courts and in the houses of the Protestant nobility, many of the governesses employed there were Huguenots who emigrated from France in 1685 after the revocation of the Edict of Tolerance of Nantes and settled in Switzerland, the Netherlands, England and Prussia. For example, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Prussia hired the Huguenot Elisabeth d'Ingenheim as governess for his daughter Luise Sophie Dorothea. Marthe de Roucoule, a widow who fled from France to Germany, was given responsibility for the education of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm by Frederick I in 1691. In 1712 she was appointed governess of the future Friedrich II and his older sisters. Even Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst , later Russian Empress Catherine II., Was brought up by their second year of life until their departure to Russia of French women.

The dominance of French governesses in the upbringing of girls did not end until the beginning of the 19th century, when a separate German national literature and uniform German written language continued to develop and the emerging bourgeoisie increasingly saw themselves as carriers of a progressive national culture.

The governess in the 19th century

With the rise of the bourgeois class, from the end of the 18th century it became increasingly common in the bourgeois classes to entrust the upbringing of daughters to a governess. In these middle-class households, governance activities concentrated on educational functions and only included administrative tasks in rare exceptional cases.

Especially in the early industrialized Great Britain there was a broad, affluent middle class at an early stage who could afford the employment of a governess. Public elementary schools emerged in Great Britain only after the Education Act of 1870 and were slow to take hold. There were boarding schools for girls, but compared to bringing up their daughters in-house, it was only a second-rate alternative. The employment of a governess was therefore far more common than in Germany and France and was not uncommon even in the 1930s. In EM Delafield's predominantly autobiographical novel Diary of a Lady in the Country , which tells the life of an upper-middle-class British family in the 1930s, the daughter of the house is raised by a French governess despite the family's financially strained situation.

In Germany and France, on the other hand, there was an early offer of public girls' schools and thus opportunities to raise girls outside the family. Earlier, and to a wider extent than in the UK, this also gave women the socially acceptable opportunity to work as school teachers. The historian Gunilla Budde cites another difference between Great Britain and Germany and France, the different living habits of the wealthier middle class. In both France and Germany, middle-class families lived in apartment buildings near the center. In Great Britain, on the other hand, the typical middle-class family lived in multi-story suburban houses. Unlike an apartment, these offered space to accommodate a governess.

Government work as an opportunity to earn a living for wealthy women of the bourgeoisie

Florence Nightingale, ca.1850s

Women of the lower classes had almost always been gainfully employed. Women of the upper bourgeoisie, on the other hand, had hardly any employment opportunities beyond marriage that were compatible with their class. Until the end of the 18th century, such unmarried women had usually found acceptance in the household of a relative, where they worked as unpaid housekeepers, companions or nurses. Changes in the social structure, which led to a growing number of bourgeois families, made the economic problems of poor, unmarried women more prominent. In particular, the daughters and widows of pastors, civil servants and scholars often found themselves forced to work outside the home. As early as 1770, the pedagogue Johann Bernhard Basedow declared that the daughters of such families should in principle receive such a good education that they would be able to raise foreign children if necessary. On the other hand, the pedagogue Joachim Heinrich Campe spoke out against such gainful employment because he assumed that daughters from the upper middle class would suffer from such a dependent position. In misjudgment of the economic reality of embroiderers, spinners and seamstresses who carried out such work at home, both he and Friedrich Heinrich Christian Schwarz recommended women without wealth to subsist on such work. In the 19th century, such women textile workers earned considerably less than factory workers, even though they worked just as long.

In 1798, Elisabeth Bernhardi named as possible gainful employment for women of higher ranks, in addition to governance, only housekeeper, nurse in private households and handicraft teacher. Of these alternatives, the governess profession was the most qualified and the one with the highest social prestige. The option of working as a nurse without a (major) loss of social status was also only available to German women. The nurses who worked in British hospitals in the first half of the 19th century were usually former servants who could not find other employment and were therefore forced to make a living from this work. The reputation of the nurses who cared for the sick in their homes was no better. Charles Dickens caricatured such a nurse in his novel Martin Chuzzlewit , published from 1842 to 1843, in the character of Sairey Gamp, as incompetent, negligent, alcoholic and corrupt. The reforms in nursing education initiated by Florence Nightingale from 1860 onwards also aimed to open up this profession as a socially recognized training path for middle-class women.

In general, the employment opportunities for bourgeois women increased in the last decades of the 19th century. Office work was also increasingly seen as an accepted field of activity. Cecilia Wadsö Lecaros points out, however, that paid employment for bourgeois women remained a problematic issue from the standpoint of class throughout the 19th century. She comes to the conclusion that many bourgeois women often opted for the poorly paid work of a governess because, in their opinion, this was the most socially accepted solution to their problem.

Governess misery in Great Britain

The economic problems of wealthy women belonging to the upper middle class were particularly pronounced in Great Britain. After 1830, the number of women who wanted or had to work as governess far exceeded the available positions. On the one hand, this oversupply was the result of a series of economic crises in which the wealth of many families dwindled. On the other hand, it was also due to an imbalance between men and women who were capable and willing to marry.

Emily Shanks : When hiring a governess

According to the 1851 census, of 100 British women over the age of 20, 57 were married, 13 widowed and 30 unmarried. In all, three quarters of a million women of marriageable age were husbandless. There were many reasons for this: The losses among the male population as a result of the Napoleonic Wars were already considered by contemporaries to be one of the reasons that there was a “surplus of women”. Significantly more men than women emigrated to North America, Australia or one of the British colonies. At the same time, the age of marriage among middle-class men rose significantly. Between 1840 and 1870 clergymen, doctors, lawyers, merchants, bank clerks and entrepreneurs did not get married until an average of 30 years. A large number of men preferred to remain completely unmarried. Out of 100 English and Welsh men aged 35 and over, 18 were unmarried and 12 were unmarried at the age of 50. The main reason for this unwillingness to marry was the high maintenance costs for a family. For £ 300 a year, a man could lead a comfortable life between his rented apartment and his club. A couple with several children who had to rely on a spacious house could not afford a comparable standard of living for even three times this income.

In the 1851 census, 25,000 women identified themselves as governesses - a comparatively small number compared to the 750,000 women who worked as servants. The number of governesses corresponded to two percent of all unmarried women between the ages of 20 and 40. The comparatively high number suggests that almost every middle-class woman with no other income had to take up this profession. While the employment situation of lower class women was not a point of public discussion at the time, the problems of this small group aroused the particular interest and compassion of the middle class public. Sir George Stephen wrote in a handbook for governesses in 1844:

“We have to admit that when [...] describing the office of governess, our hearts tighten a little as we have never experienced in any other task of active living. In every other occupation one finds the encouragement of hope […]. The servant can become the employer, the worker can become employer […]. The governess and the governess alone, although a member of the liberal professions, are without hope and expectations. "


According to an investigation by the Governesses' Benevolent Institution , the fathers of governesses were mostly merchants, doctors, officers, civil servants, lawyers and notaries as well as pastors.

Illustration to William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair . The unscrupulous Becky Sharp, whose social rise began with the assumption of a governess post, embodied all the qualities that parents feared in a governess.

Some of the governesses came from families who had seen a drastic change in their wealth situation. In Great Britain, between 1820 and 1850, numerous families whose income came from capital investments lost their wealth literally overnight to corporate bankruptcies and bank failures. This constant threat only eased with the Limited Liability Act of 1855 , which changed liability issues in the event of bankruptcies. More typical than a sudden change in the financial situation, however, would have been a gradual erosion of family wealth, which forced women to look for gainful employment. In Great Britain, inheritance law also played a role. If the family property was subject to Fideikommiss , it passed to the next male relative upon the death of the male head of the family, however distant the relationship might be. Both the widow and the daughters of such families were threatened with impoverishment. Many fathers tried to prevent this by taking out life insurance . However, by the time the Life Assurance Companies Act 1870 was passed, more than 500 such insurance companies collapsed in Great Britain between 1800 and 1870, so that often enough such provision by family fathers was in vain. The death of the provider - whether father or husband - is considered to be the most common reason why middle-class women had to work. Lady Elizabeth Eastlake commented on this in an article in the Quarterly Review , noting that there is no other group of employees so systematically replenished by the misfortunes of families. Historians today therefore see the broad space that governance activity occupied in the public debate in Great Britain, especially in the economically turbulent decades around the middle of the 19th century, not only as an outflow of empathy for the women who had to fall back on this profession, but also as an expression of the economic uncertainty of this class.

Find a job

Kathryn Hughes believes that the job search reveals the contradictions that characterized governorship over a long period of time. The polite fiction that the governess is a socially equal who is looking for a place in a family of the same class has already been taken ad absurdum in the competition for the few jobs.

Ideally, a woman who wanted to work as a governess found her job through the network of her own family. This form of job search could best be reconciled with the idea that middle-class women did not have any gainful employment. Attending a family position with whom they were related or friendly was also hoped to avoid the humiliations associated with that activity. For example, when Henriette Herz was dependent on a governess position, she made a point of finding one in the house of friends, where she could be sure of good treatment in her role as an employed educator. Hughes names other example cases where, due to the existing family relationships, the governess's marriage into the employer's family was accepted or a woman found employment in the broader family network of her first employer for decades.

If the governess did not have such a network or could not find a job through it, she was forced to either reply to an advertisement or even set one up herself. Setting up your own advertisement and naming your own qualifications was not only expensive in relation to the achievable salary, but also the most obvious break with the idea that a governess did not provide a paid service. The British newspaper The Times, as the main British medium for such job searches, bizarrely placed these advertisements between those for day trips and those offering an investment. There were also recruitment agencies, but it was not uncommon for them to charge more than five percent of an annual salary without giving a guarantee of success. From 1843, welfare institutions such as the “ Governesses' Benevolent Institution ” took over the task of bringing job seekers and job offerers together without having to pay an agency fee for either side. The fact that these agencies only managed to find between 50 and 75 percent of job seekers makes it clear that there was clearly a buyer's market here .

There have been a few cases in which employment only took place through the exchange of letters and the employer and employee only got to know each other personally when starting the job. As a rule, the appointment was preceded by a personal interview. The professional qualification was mostly of secondary importance in these discussions. The implicit basic requirement for the appointment of a governess was her origin: Assuming that elegant femininity could only be acquired through an appropriately cultivated environment, it was essential that the governess, as the mother's representative, was of the same social class as her mother. Eliza and Everina Wollstonecraft lost their jobs as governess , not least because of the dubious reputation of their sister Mary . Almost as important was that belief and the rigor with which religious rules were observed corresponded.


Wassilij Grigorjewitsch Perow : Arrival of the governess in a merchant family

In Britain, the oversupply of governesses had a significant impact on the salaries for which they were forced to take jobs. In an investigation conducted by George Stephen in 1844, he found a governess who was receiving an annual salary of £ 300. That was an unusually high salary. A number of today's historians count households with an annual salary of £ 300 as belonging to the middle class. Other historians already attribute households with an annual income of £ 100 to the middle class. Stephen's investigation found that several governesses made £ 200 a year, and a number were paid £ 80 a year. Most, however, received significantly less. Charlotte Brontë worked for an annual salary of £ 20 in 1841, of which £ 4 was deducted for washing her laundry. Harriet Martineau reported in 1860 about several families she knew who paid her governess between eight and twelve pounds a year.

The low income also meant that governesses had limited ability to provide for old age or a case of illness. Governesses could only expect to find employment until the age of forty or fifty. Almost all government advisors advised her to set aside money for her old age in good time. If she was paid appropriately, she was usually able to do so. As a study in 1841 showed, however, numerous governesses supported needy parents with their salaries, paid for the education of siblings or jumped at them in financial distress. Many of them were probably able to rely on the solidarity of their families in old age or in the event of illness, but the number of tragic cases left behind in desperate poverty in old age is still high.

The situation in Germany was similar: in 1820, Fanny Tarnow estimated the amount of money needed to live modestly but adequately for a bourgeoisie at 400 Prussian thalers a year. This made it possible to finance your own apartment with your own furniture and the employment of a maid. Those who lived modestly in sublet, on the other hand, needed 100 to 150 thalers, but still had to take into account expenses for clothing, coaches, books and entertainment. A governess who received around 80 to 100 thalers a year in addition to board and lodging was not in a bad position, but nevertheless hardly in a position to save such sums for her old age if she could no longer get a job. She was facing a largely financially insecure age. For women like Caroline Rudolphi , Fanny Tarnow, Amalia Weise and Luise Hensel , this was one of the reasons why governance was only one stop in their lives.

The situation of old or sick governesses was so desperate that charities took on them. In 1843 the "Governesses' Benevolent Institution" was founded in Great Britain, which provided short-term financial support to governesses who were in dire straits. Homes were also established for unemployed and old governesses, in which they could find shelter, at least temporarily.

Social status

Rebecca Solomon : The Governess , 1854. The dark and plainly dressed governess sits on the right with the child entrusted to her.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the profession of governess was highly regarded. The fundamental upbringing idea that girls should have received an education that would later enable them as mothers to teach their own daughters sufficient content and to prepare their sons for school gave the mother's role a high priority. It was considered legitimate to be supported in this by an aunt, older sister or a paid worker. A good upbringing was regarded as the basis of noble domesticity; the activities of the governess closely overlapped with the role of a mother. The historians Trev Broughton and Ruth Symes also identify the not yet marginalized role of the governess in the cover picture of the novel Ellinor: The Young Governess by C. Matthews, published in 1809 . Although it shows a governess with her wards, it follows the iconography of a family portrait. The governess is not shown here as the marginalized, simply dressed employee, but as a young woman with dignity and authority who reads to her students. The change in reputation began when it was increasingly less compatible with bourgeois values ​​that an upper class woman should have a job, but at the same time an ever greater number of women were forced to do just that.

The governesses who were employed by middle-class families around the middle of the 19th century did not usually differ from their employer in terms of their social background, but only in terms of their financial resources. However, working as governess had a negative impact on the social status of the women who practiced it: an essential characteristic of a middle-class citizen was that she did not work. In her novel Emma (1816), Jane Austen sums up this dilemma by contrasting the wealthy Emma Woodhouse with the destitute Jane Fairfax. Both are extremely cultured young women: Jane Fairfax is even superior to Emma Woodhouse in all the skills that characterize a lady. She thus represents the ideal of a lady, unlike the financially independent Emma Woodhouse, the assumption of a governess position and thus a path that must end in old youth and poverty seems inevitable for her. Anna Jameson (1797–1860) therefore took the view that no woman would choose this profession, and Harriet Martineau also deplored the concern of many middle-class parents that one day they would have to force their daughters to take up this profession.

In the testimonies left by governesses, they often complain about the loss of their social status. In novels such as Elizabeth Sewell's Amy Herbert or Charlotte Brontës Agnes Gray , the protagonists' social decline is expressed, among other things, in the fact that they are called by their first names like a maid or that their parents refer to their pupils as "Miss" or "Master". Conversely, governesses often noted in their letters and reminders that their employers were socially inferior to them. Expression, emphasis and manners were often indications for them that they were employed by social climbers. Indeed, for many families the employment of a governess was important to the social status they had attained. Charlotte Brontë noted with anger in her diary that her employer White was trying to invite her father as a prestigious house guest. William Thackeray is amused in The Book of Snobs about the fictional Mrs. Ponto, who underlines her own status with the musical skills of the governess:

“A great creature! Is not it? Squirtz's favorite student - priceless to have such a being! Lady Carabas would give up her eyes for her property, a miracle of training! "

working conditions

Forms of governance activity and course content

The governess usually lived in her employer's household. There were also so-called "Daily Governesses" or "day governesses" who only visited the household in which they were employed during the day. Working as a day governess was particularly interesting for women who were widowed, for example, and had to look after small children or other relatives themselves. Some families deliberately chose this form of employment because it removed the need to be physically close. It was also a comparatively inexpensive way of employing a governess. A governess who took care of the children in the morning or afternoon received an average salary of £ 24. The employer saved the cost of board and lodging. However, Kathryn Hughes points out that the employment of a day governess was considered secondary. Her only hourly presence made the service role she was performing evident. A more detailed census in 1861 in the London borough of Paddington also makes it clear that at least some women who called themselves day governesses did not have the background that was commonly associated with a governess. Hughes writes: It seems that the term governess, with all its connotations of refinement and sophistication, has also been claimed by some lower-middle-class women who did little more than look after children.

Marian Hubbard Daisy Bell and Elsie May Bell with their governess, ca.1885

A distinction was also made between “Nursery Governess”, “Preparatory Governess” and “Finishing Governess”. The Nursery Governesses taught both boys and girls between the ages of four and eight. Their main task was to teach them to read and write. The job of a nursery governess was clearly different from that of a nanny , but in smaller households it was not uncommon for her to help the children get dressed in the mornings. The demands on the knowledge of a "Nursery Governess" were not high, which was also reflected in the salary they were paid. Some advertisements in The Times offered Nursery Governess nothing more than board and lodging.

The “Preparatory Governess” primarily looked after girls aged eight and over. The content of the lessons included grammar, history and geography, which was supplemented by lessons in French, possibly even Italian and German, piano and drawing lessons. Sometimes the daughters of the house learned their foreign language skills from other people in the household. The Nightingale family is an example of the upbringing by a “Preparatory Governess”. William Edward Nightingale and his wife Fanny employed Sara Christie as governess from 1827 in order to have their two daughters Parthenope and Florence raised by them. Fanny Nightingale took on the religious part of bringing up the daughters and read the Bible with them every day before breakfast . The maid of the two girls was French, so they spoke French well. Sara Christie shouldn't teach more than two or three hours a day each day, with the remainder of the day influencing the girls through “informed conversation”. A well-founded transfer of knowledge was not expected; the heroine in Emma Raymond Pitman's novel My Governess Life, or, Using My One Talent (1883), who speaks Latin and Euclid , is reprimanded by saying that she would have been better served if she had learned French and music.

When a girl reached the age of 14 or 15, she was occasionally sent to a posh girls' boarding school for a year or entrusted to the upbringing of a “finishing governess” who prepared her pupils for entry into social life. The focus was less on school knowledge than on conversation, making music and dancing. In affluent families, the girls often received additional hourly foreign language or music lessons. If the family placed particular emphasis on knowledge of foreign languages, the daughter of the house was occasionally sent to the European continent with her governess for some time. Although the educational pamphlets of this time had long since required something different, the content of the lessons was geared towards the customs of the upper class for most of the 19th century. It was ignored that very few women of the bourgeoisie would lead the idle life of a member of the upper class, in which making music, dancing and the ability to cultivate conversation were important. That gradually changed towards the end of the 19th century. Even if parents were still skeptical about the new private boarding schools and high schools for girls, there was still the possibility that girls raised at home could take part in selected courses accompanied by their governess.

At the age of 17 or 18, the training of young women was considered complete. Members of the upper class were then introduced to the court and spent a season or two as debutants . In young women from less well-off families, entry into adult life was similar on a scaled-down basis. For both groups of young women, a phase of life followed, which, depending on the family's financial situation, was characterized by a lot of idleness, the performance of representative duties and extended visits to relatives until they married themselves.

Everyday work

Joseph Crawhall : The Governess Cart . The tonneau was considered a particularly safe carriage, which was often used by governesses to take their pupils for a walk.

Nelly Weeton and Agnes Porter have described working days that started at 7 a.m. and ended between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the evening, seven days a week. They spent the day almost exclusively in the company of children. In the less affluent families, governesses were also expected to help sew in the evenings, as did Charlotte Brontë, for example . Mary Wollstonecraft and Agnes Porter, both of whom worked for extremely wealthy families with large estates, were able to retreat to their own rooms after their work. Many governesses, however, shared their bedroom with that of their pupils. If they had a room, it was usually very small in middle-class households.

The life of a governess in a British household was usually lonely. Nelly Weeton reports that she sat in the evening in the room where she taught her pupils during the day. For employers, the social equality of the governess was an essential reason for her employment, but in very few families she was an equal member of the family, so that she often spent her evenings alone. She was not considered “dinner-ready” in every family, which means that she never knew whether her presence was welcome when the family entertained guests. Often times, when she attended social gatherings, she was completely ignored. In a letter to a friend, Charlotte Brontë called this constant social insecurity a far greater burden than the upbringing of her pupils.

There were no opportunities for a social life of one's own because of a lack of time, even when friends or the governess's family lived nearby. One of the few occasions to meet other people was to go to church weekly.

German governesses, on the other hand, expected family ties, which they were often assured of in job advertisements. This meant that in their free time they were more closely connected with the family and took part in festivities and parties. But here, too, a German author warned about the role of the governess in the family in 1881:

“If she appears in the salon from time to time, she stays in the middle between the guest role and the alms awareness ... is neither a fish nor a frog, and is a nuisance to the family, who condemns them to it, as a foreign element "

The employment as governess in a family was inevitably a temporary job. While court masters or tutors had other professions such as pastor, doctor, notary or civil servant open to them, governesses usually only had the hope of finding another private job elsewhere in the domestic or school sector after finishing their work in a family.

Relationship with other domestic workers

Igor Grabar : Nanny with Baby , 1892

For middle-class households of the 19th century, the employment of at least one maid was an essential characteristic of their own class. Households employing a governess usually employed several other domestic workers. In addition to maids, this included a cook and kitchen maids and, in wealthier households, maids and servants. Nannies took care of small children, although in Great Britain a distinction was made between the “ nanny ” and the “nursery maid”. The latter was subordinate to the nanny and took on the heavier physical work for her. The unclear position of the governess within the family also had an impact on the relationship with these employees.

A governess who was employed by a family for the first time to look after children at the age of five inevitably had a conflict with the nanny, who had usually looked after the children intensively since they were born. For them the governess was an intruder, for the children the separation from their closest caregiver was often a traumatic experience. If the governess was bringing up older children, the transition was often more fluid. For this, governesses often had to see toddlers being sent to play in the room where they were trying to teach their pupils.

The sources indicate that the relationship with the servants employed in the household was particularly problematic. More than other servants, they saw the governess as just another paid employee and resisted treating her with the respect they had to show the female members of the family. Maids often had a special relationship of trust with their employers, wore their discarded, elegant clothes in their free time and, based on their specific knowledge of questions of fashion and etiquette, assumed a position that was only slightly worse than that of a lady. Novels of the 19th century often contrast the witty, sophisticated, but also always somewhat vulgar maid with the elegant and simple governess.

Training of the governess

" I regularly point out that an upbringing without regular and constant guidance remains ineffective and no one other than a governess can ensure this " comments Lady Catherine De Bourgh in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice on the role and task of a governess. However, women were prepared differently for such a task. In Great Britain it was not until 1848 that Queen's College and Bedford College began their work as training centers for governesses. Both were based in London. In Germany, teacher seminars started their work comparatively early.

Situation in Great Britain

In Great Britain, the right of a governess to the guidance of her pupils was for a long time derived solely from the fact that she herself came from a middle-class family and had received a proper upbringing there. It was expected that she spoke one or more modern foreign languages, could play and draw a musical instrument, and had superficial knowledge of subjects such as botany or geography. It was accepted that governesses could at best acquire a half education in this way and not pass on more than one half education. A conscious pre-vocational acquisition of knowledge, however, was viewed critically by contemporaries, as it contradicted the fiction that the daughters were brought up by a woman of the same social class. Some commentators even warned that educational institutions would allow lower-middle-class women to deceive employers about their origins. An exception to this rule were daughters of pastor’s families, whose middle class was apparently so beyond question that they could attend boarding schools that specifically taught them the knowledge associated with the work of a governess. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë described the rigorous upbringing in such a school. For the historian Kathryn Hughes there is little doubt based on other testimonials that Brontë, who briefly studied at Cowan Bridge School with her sisters , described real conditions with her description of the teaching method in Lowood.

Those who, like the Brontë sisters Anne and Charlotte, hardly spoke French and did not master any instrument, only encountered a very limited vacancy. Knowledge of French, German and Italian, on the other hand, could lead to well-paying jobs. It was particularly appreciated when this knowledge was acquired abroad. Families who could afford it sent their daughters to boarding school on the European continent for a year before they looked for a job. Hughes, however, doubts whether the language could really be learned in view of the numerous British students at such boarding schools. It was not uncommon for young women to go to these boarding schools as auxiliary teachers, although they had to pay for this privilege themselves. The willingness to invest in language skills was based on the hope that this would lead to better salaries later on. Anna Jameson wrote to her father in 1821 while working as governess in Florence:

"My only extravagance (if you want to call it that) is the regular Italian teacher, and I am sure that you support that, because not only is it beneficial for me now, but it will be even more useful to me later on ... I even forbade myself to buy a winter dress so that I can afford this Italian teacher. "

The professionalization of teachers teaching in schools, which began in 1870, gradually began to have an impact on women who worked as governesses.

Training in Germany

Betty Gleim, painting by Georg Friedrich Adolph Schöner , around 1815. Focke Museum

In Germany, as early as the end of the 18th century, there were calls for the establishment of training centers for educators. Amalia Holst , Betty Gleim and Elisabeth Bernhardi are among the women who campaigned for this . This was not about opening up new female occupational fields, but about professionalizing gainful employment that was close to the tasks of a wife, housewife and mother and in which women were already successfully active. However, there was a widespread view that women were unable to teach all subjects. Tinette Homberg, a long-time school teacher and headmistress, was still of the opinion in 1845 that subjects such as arithmetic, mathematics, physics and German " preferably require a male mind and can only be understood by the students with the mind ". Even in the first half of the 19th century, the educator and poet Caroline Rudolphi , who was well-known during her lifetime , was of the opinion that “all intellectual culture” should emanate from men.

Good foreign language skills were an essential qualification for women aspiring to government posts, allowing them to gain access to better paid or more prestigious positions. Families who were aware of the value of such an education went to great lengths to give their daughters the opportunity. The von Langfeld family, into which Friedrich Schiller later married, spent a year in French-speaking Switzerland in 1784 at the expense of von Beulwitz's son-in-law , so that Charlotte von Lengefeld could speak French fluently.

In Germany, unlike in Great Britain, women were given the opportunity to teach in schools at an early stage. Louise Hensel, for example, after having worked among other things as governess in the family of Count Friedrich Leopold zu Stolberg , taught in Aachen from 1827 as the first teacher of the two upper classes at the St. Leonhard Higher Daughter School .

Governance as self-assertion

Trev Broughton and Ruth Symes point out the possibility that the available sources paint too negative a picture of governance activity. The broad public discussion of the governess misery and the literary conventions of that time may have led to an exaggerated picture of the negative side of this profession, even with the available sources. Undoubtedly, the job also offered daughters from the lower middle class the opportunity to have access to a social class that would otherwise be closed to them. For Jane Eyre , the heroine from Charlotte Brontë's novel, the opportunity to work as a governess, after eight years at Lowood School, represents the possibility of a new environment, new friends and new challenges. Anne Brontë let her protagonist Agnes Gray, one Pastor's daughter, in her autobiographical novel of the same name, report for the first time in first-person form from everyday life as a governess. In this novel, Brontë represents a view that was unusually emancipated for the first half of the 19th century. It is not only material hardship that forces them to leave home, but also the desire to develop an individual life plan. Described by Brontë as self-righteous, slightly offended and humorless, Agnes Gray begins her first job with the Bloomfield family believing that she is up to the task. In her eyes, however, the children she is supposed to teach are not advised, and from Agnes Grey's point of view, her parents do not recognize the value of her work as a governor. She is eventually released by the Bloomfield family. Her next job takes her to the country estate of a nobleman, but here too she experiences disappointments. Marriage ultimately releases them from their duty to earn their own living.

The typical employer in the 19th century

Characteristics of employers

Historian Kathryn Hughes estimates that of the 25,000 women who worked as governesses in Britain in the mid-19th century, about half worked in families belonging to the nobility or gentry - an indistinct class of upper middle class and lower Nobility - belonged. The remaining 12,000 worked in typical middle-class households.

The bourgeois household, which in Great Britain was expected to employ a governess if there were daughters to be raised, had an annual income of at least £ 1,000 and the household employed included a cook, two housemaids, and a nanny House servant. Around the middle of the 19th century, however, contemporary newspapers and magazines repeatedly address the fact that it was no longer just the wealthiest circles of the bourgeoisie who afforded a governess. Hughes suspects that one of the reasons for this was the cost of boarding daughters. During the 1860s, a typical Bath boarding house cost between £ 70 and £ 80 a year. For a country doctor or pharmacist in a medium-sized town with two or three daughters, it was much cheaper to employ a governess, who often received an annual salary of £ 25. Hughes was also able to show that governesses were more often employed in households in which the mother was absent.

“Those widowers who did not remarry and who had no female relatives to fall back on were forced to pay a woman to live with a family and perform the duties previously performed by their wives. […] These men used the governess as single women had been used for centuries - as a way to fill a gap in the distribution of roles in a household. In these rather modest households, the governess was not only a head of house, but also a housekeeper, stepmother and possibly also a maid rolled into one. "

The Bishop of Bath of Wells drew attention to another group of employers who were far from wealthy on the basis of research by the Schools Inquiry Commission (1867–1868). In his diocese, farmers were increasingly forced to employ governesses because of the lack of schools in the sparsely populated counties. Hughes believes that, given the oversupply of women looking for work, it is possible that these governesses were only given board and lodging.

Ambivalent relationship with the governess

Emily Mary Osborn : The Governess , 1860

From the employer's point of view, the employment of a governess was a sign of respectability, but at the same time a threat in several respects. Husbands might succumb to the charms of the young women living in the house, or sons and other male relatives of the employer might fall inappropriately in love with them. Such emotional entanglements seem to be more common. One of the phenomena of the 19th century was that the few occasions were increasingly regulated in society during which middle-class women and men could have contact with one another. The governess, who lived in a household, was an exception, at least as far as the male members of her employer family were concerned. Unlike her gender and class mates, the governess did not protect any family network or chaperone from sexual advances. Gustave Flaubert, for example, openly describes in letters to a friend how strongly he felt sexually attracted to his niece's governess, whose breasts, which were visible under the clothes, he examined with such undisguised interest that the young woman blushed again and again during meals together. A liaison between a married employer and a governess caused personal pain and social agony for all concerned. A relationship between a governess and an unmarried family member, however, led to the greatest family and social upheavals. Unlike a maid, according to social convention, a governess was entitled to marriage if a sexual relationship had occurred. In theory, given their social equality, there was no reason why a family should oppose such an alliance. There are no figures whatsoever to show how many women met husbands in their employer's family while they were in governance. Based on the publications from this period alone, which dealt with this possibility, it can be concluded that it took up a large part of the general conception and was largely rejected. In Vanity Fair, William Thackeray has one of his protagonists describe a possible marriage between governess Becky Sharp and his future brother-in-law as an intolerable mésalliance . The sharp reaction to such compounds can also be demonstrated in real cases. Bertha von Suttner , who came from the old and respected Bohemian nobility, secretly married the youngest son of her employer, who had just been raised to the nobility, who was subsequently disinherited by his parents.

The many hours a governess usually spent with her one or two pupils often led to an emotional bond between the governess and children that could lead to tension with the mother. Not infrequently, this led to the governess's disciplinary measures being undermined by the mother. Anna Jameson wrote in her advice to mothers that they should not interfere in the governess' upbringing, but only "encourage and observe". Very few mothers, however, followed such recommendations and thereby undermined the governess' authority.

The governess also embodied a female concept of life that was contrary to the bourgeois ideal of women. In the Victorian era , marriage and motherhood were considered the only respected way of life for women - despite the fact that by the mid-19th century, increasingly male workers were being replaced in factories by cheaper labor from women and children. The British social philosopher William Rathbone Greg described unmarried women in 1862 as “incomplete existences”. In the literature from this period in particular, there are numerous examples of the mocking contempt that was shown to these women. Women were considered incapable of earning their own income. Governesses were the visible evidence to the contrary, however meager their income. Employers therefore had to be careful not to let the closeness to the class stand out too clearly, as there was always the danger that their daughters would see the governesses as an alternative role model to that of their mothers.

The governess in literature

Significance in Anglo-Saxon literature

Governesses play a role in Jane Austen's Emma (1816), Marguerite, Countess of Blessingtons The Governess (1839), Henry James ' The Turn of the Screw (1897), Anthony Trollopes The Eustace Diamonds (1873), Wilkie Collins ' Ohne Names , William Makepeace Thackerays Vanity Fair (1848), Charles Dickens ' Little Dorrit (1855-1857), George Eliots Middlemarch , Sheridan le Fanus Roman Uncle Silas (1864), Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret (1862), Joseph Conrad's Game des Zufall (1912) and Anne Brontës Agnes Gray (1847) and last but not least Charlotte Brontës Jane Eyre (1847). All of these novels come from the Anglo-Saxon culture. Small, thin, pale, always simply dressed in dark and with a strict center parting, the main character from the novel Jane Eyre is considered the best-known English governess in literary history, not least because of the cinema and television versions of the melodramatic novel.

According to Kathryn Hughes, the development of the governess to an important literary type in British literature is inextricably linked with a feminization of narrative culture. The number of female readers and authors increased from the middle of the 18th century. This created the need for narrative materials familiar to a female world of experience. Unlike male protagonists, however, female characters were predominantly limited to a domestic sphere. An exception to this was what is generally believed to be the typical career of a governess, which was almost predestined for literary processing. Her fall from bourgeois living conditions and her small chance of breaking free from these living conditions again and her life in the home of employers with whom she had originally shared her social status offered sufficient material for dramatic entanglements. Historian Ruth Brandon believes that the governess was so prominent in 19th and early 20th century literature that she has become part of our common cultural heritage.

In contrast, governesses only played a subordinate role in German and French literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. Only Arthur Schnitzler's novel Therese (1928), in which a young, impoverished aristocrat becomes a governess because she has no other employment opportunity without professional training, is considered to be of significance in literary history . Schnitzler's novel differs from the typical English governess novel, among other things, in its different social context. After the First World War, women were already able to enjoy a wider range of professions. However, Therese does not manage to catch up on her teacher examination, which would have significantly improved her professional situation. Here she is not a victim of social conditions, but of her character and her specific family situation.

The Victorian governess novel

The Victorian governess novel is a specific literary genre that includes works that were almost exclusively written by British authors during the 19th century or the early years of the 20th century. The number of governess novels decreased at the beginning of the 20th century to the extent that other occupational fields opened up as accepted fields of employment for women. Of the nineteenth-century novels of literary history in which governesses play a role, only Agnes Gray and Jane Eyre are assigned to the genre of the Victorian governess novel. The rest do not place the governess at the center of the plot or the fact that she is a governess is not essential to the plot.

The main themes of the stories, which are assigned to the genre of the Victorian governess novel, are the loss of the social status of the protagonist, the thematization of her unclear position in the household of her employer and the insistence on her own set of values ​​in relationships with the people around her. The distinction between women, whose sphere of activity is exclusively their own household, and women who are forced to work. Most of them, however, also describe a maturing process of their central acting person and thus show elements of the educational novel.

The earliest novels, which can be assigned to this genre in the broadest sense, appeared towards the end of the 18th century. They clearly had a didactic goal and portray the governess as a valued person. Around 1830 this changes significantly. The governesses are almost always portrayed as victims of a sudden change in their living conditions and they are confronted with inhospitable or even hostile employers. It is not uncommon for their employers to be people who have only recently become wealthy. Even if these stories are shaped by a didactic purpose, they deal more than before with the working conditions and the social status of the governess. Examples of such novels are Mary Martha Sherwood's Caroline Mordaunt, or, The Governess (1835), Julia Buckel's Emily, the Governess (1836) and Marguerite Blessingtons The Governess; or, Politics in Private Life . Novels published after 1840 are clearly marked by the public discussion about the so-called governess misery. The proceeds from the sale of Dinah Craik's novel Bread upon the Waters: A Governess's Life (1852) even went expressly to charities that looked after governesses in need.

With the advent of sensational and detective novels, narrative elements of these literary genres were also taken up in the Victorian governess novel. Lecaros also counts the sensational novel East Lynne (1861) by Ellen Wood , which was widely read in the 19th and early 20th centuries , in which a young woman after adultery works unrecognized in the family of her ex-husband as a governess novel, because the heroine as governess situations experience how they belong to the narrative canon of this genre.


Web links

Commons : Governesses  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Governess  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 6.
  2. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 2.
  3. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 23.
  4. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 23.
  5. Hughes; The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. XIV.
  6. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 24.
  7. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess. , Pp. 1-2.
  8. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 80.
  9. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 83.
  10. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 88.
  11. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 91.
  12. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 94.
  13. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 49.
  14. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 50.
  15. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 50.
  16. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 51 and p. 54.
  17. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 52.
  18. Hardach-Pinke, p. 68.
  19. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 53.
  20. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthology. 1997, p. 5.
  21. Quoted from Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 57.
  22. Quoted from Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 57.
  23. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 60.
  24. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 61.
  25. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , pp. 62 and pp. 65–66.
  26. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 66.
  27. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 66.
  28. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 68.
  29. Hardach-Pinke, p. 106.
  30. Hardach-Pinke, pp. 115-120.
  31. Hardach-Pinke, p. 109 and p. 114
  32. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 89.
  33. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 14, 2013.
  34. ^ Hugos: The Victorian Governess . 1992, p. 17- p. 19.
  35. EM Delafield: Diary of a Lady in the Country . Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-641-08045-7 . In addition to the “Mademoiselle” who works in her own household, Delafield also reports on p. 35 about the governess of another family: Children perhaps too en évidence ; I get to it because Angela tells me shortly before tea what a lovely nursery the Maitland children have, and they stayed there all day when they weren't going for long walks with the governess and the dogs.
  36. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 15, 2013.
  37. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 117.
  38. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 71.
  39. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 71.
  40. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , pp. 73–74.
  41. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 17.
  42. Hardach-Pinke, pp. 75–76 and p. 79.
  43. Mark Bostridge: Florence Nightingale . Penguin Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-0-14-026392-3 , p. 94.
  44. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 17.
  45. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 15.
  46. ^ A b Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 17.
  47. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 15
  48. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthology . 1997, p. 10.
  49. ^ A b c Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 18.
  50. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel , 2001, p. 20.
  51. ^ A b Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 1.
  52. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 16.
  53. Quoted from Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 5. The original quote is We must acknowledge that in […] describing the office of governess we have had a sickening feeling at heart, such as we have not experienced in tracing any other department of active life. In every other human pursuit there may be found the encouragement of expectation ... The servant may become master, the laborer may rise into an employer ... but the governess, and the governess alone, though strictly a member of a liberal profession, has neither hope nor prospect open in this world.
  54. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess Act . 1993, p. 28.
  55. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess Act . 1993, p. 28.
  56. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 29.
  57. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess Act . 1993, p. 29.
  58. ^ Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 13.
  59. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthology . 1997, p. 9.
  60. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 42 and p. 43.
  61. Jump up ↑ Hardach-Pinke: The governess: history of a women's profession. P. 102.
  62. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 43.
  63. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 44.
  64. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 46.
  65. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 47.
  66. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 47.
  67. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 21.
  68. ^ A b Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 10.
  69. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 49.
  70. ^ A b c Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 19.
  71. Lecaros; The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 14.
  72. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , pp. 22-23.
  73. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 99.
  74. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 99.
  75. Lescaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 19.
  76. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthologie 1997, pp. 5 and 6.
  77. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthologie 1997, p. 6.
  78. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthologie 1997, p. 8.
  79. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 20 and p. 21.
  80. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 4.
  81. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 55.
  82. Hardach-Pinke: Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 102.
  83. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 65.
  84. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 91.
  85. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 93.
  86. William Makepeace Thackeray: The Snob Book , Chapter 25.
  87. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 20, 2013.
  88. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 37. In the original Hughes writes: […] the label "governess", with all its connotation of gentilste and refinement, may have become a tag which some urban lower middle class women liked to use to describe activities which consisted of little more than child-minding.
  89. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, p. 60.
  90. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, 45.
  91. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, pp. 60 and 61.
  92. Mark Bostridge: Florence Nightingale . Penguin Books, London 2009, ISBN 978-0-14-026392-3 , p. 35.
  93. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 65.
  94. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel. 2001, p. 18.
  95. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, p. 61.
  96. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 19.
  97. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 78.
  98. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, p. 62.
  99. ^ Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 15.
  100. ^ A b Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 16.
  101. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 88.
  102. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 99.
  103. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 15, 2013.
  104. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 20, 2013
  105. Budde: The maid in Freyert & Haupt: Der Mensch des 19. Jahrhundert , 1999, p. 149
  106. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 63.
  107. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 62.
  108. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 95.
  109. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . P. 95.
  110. I always say that nothing is to be done in education without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but a governess can give it. Janes Austen: Pride and Prejudice , Volume II, Chapter 6.
  111. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , pp. 15-16.
  112. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , pp. 14-15.
  113. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 40.
  114. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 39.
  115. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 16.
  116. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 41.
  117. quoted from Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 41 and p. 42. The original quote is: My only extravagante (if such it can be called) ist having an Italian Master regularly, and this I think you would like me to do, as it is not only of great advantage to me now, but will be of the greatest use to me hereafter .... I denied myself a winter dress that I might have an Italian Master.
  118. ^ Hughes: The Victorian Governess: 1993, p. 79.
  119. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 76.
  120. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 77.
  121. Tinette Homberg, 1845, quoted from Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 78.
  122. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 79.
  123. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 88.
  124. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 97.
  125. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthologie 1997, pp. 12 and 13.
  126. ^ Broughton and Symes: The Governess - An Anthologie 1997, p. 14.
  127. Charlotte Brontë : Jane Eyre , 1847, p. 58.
  128. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 14.
  129. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 22.
  130. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 22 and p. 23.
  131. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 23.
  132. ^ Hugos: The Victorian Governess. , 1993, p. 23. The original quotation is Those widowers who had failed to marry again, and who had no female relative living nearby, were incumbent to pay a woman to live en Familie to carry out the duties formerly Performer by their wives . It was these men, […] who use the governess much as single women had been used for centuries - as a way of plugging a gap in the household's available personell. In these modest homes the governess was not simply a teacher, but a housekeeper, stepmother and even parlormaid rolled in to one.
  133. ^ Hugos: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 24.
  134. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 121 and p. 122.
  135. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 119.
  136. Hermia Oliver: Flaubert and an English Governess - The Quest for Juliet Herbert . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1980, ISBN 0-19-815764-9 , p. 64.
  137. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 122.
  138. Brigitte Hamann: Bertha von Suttner - A life for peace . Piper Verlag, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-492-20922-X , pp. 42-57.
  139. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess. Pp. 10-11.
  140. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess. Pp. 11-12.
  141. ^ Anna Jameson: Memoirs and Essays. 1846.
  142. Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess. P. 12 and 13.
  143. Hughes: The Victorian Governess. 1993, p. 148.
  144. “incomplete existence of [their] own”, quoted from Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 13.
  145. ^ Ruth Brandon: Other People's Daughters - The Life and Times of the Governess , p. 14.
  146. On the road as educators in Europe: Gouvernanten, governesses und gouvernantes , accessed on November 15, 2013.
  147. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , p. 16.
  148. Hughes: The Victorian Governess . 1993, p. 3.
  149. Hardach-Pinke, p. 22.
  150. Hardach-Pinke, Die Gouvernante: Geschichte eines Frauenberufs , pp. 26-27.
  151. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 34.
  152. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 29.
  153. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 32.
  154. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 32.
  155. Lecaros: The Victorian Governess Novel . 2001, p. 32.